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Katrina Evacuees Struggle to Find Work

by Kevin Caruso

October 10, 2005

Most Hurricane Katrina evacuees have had to cope with one overwhelming loss after the other, including the loss of their homes; their possessions; and for some, a love one. And now they are faced with another loss that may not be easy to resolve: the loss of their jobs.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 400,000 jobs were lost because of Katrina, and many displaced citizens will be fighting for jobs in areas where there may not be many employment opportunities.

In the cities with the most evacuees, such as Houston, the job search should be particularly challenging.

“The question is how many people are entering the low-skilled markets in these new towns,” said Rebecca Blank, dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. “My guess is there is going to be pretty heavy and extended unemployment in the areas with the most evacuees.”


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