Hundreds of thousands of Americans are finding themselves out of work and their livelihoods in limbo following the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
Experts believe it will take months before people get back to work in hurricane-ravaged areas. Some workers may not have jobs to return to and others may opt to move away and find work elsewhere, economists and other experts said.
Workers in flooded-out New Orleans, which faces major and potentially lengthy cleanup challenges, are taking the biggest hit, analysts said.
"New Orleans is an economic disaster. This tragedy is so unprecedented people could be out of work for three, six, nine months or longer," said Rajeev Dhawan, director of the economic forecasting project at Georgia State University.
By Dhawan's estimates close to 1 million people have been thrust out of work in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama because of Katrina.
Phil Hopkins, managing director of US regional services for Global Insight, estimates that at least a half a million people are out of work because of the storm.
The jobless rate in the area of New Orleans, Metarie and Kenner could easily climb to 25 per cent, Hopkins estimated. In another storm-slammed area of Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi, the unemployment rate could rise to around 20 per cent or higher, he added.
Source: China Daily