Industry News

Unemployment not as bad as expected in Katrina’s wake

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Though employment fell in September, the loss was far less than expected in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the government reported this morning. The news suggests that the economy might be bouncing back from the hurricane better than expected, though a government economist said it was difficult to accurately quantify the disaster's effects because it's hard to survey the evacuees and inoperative Gulf Coast businesses. Net employment fell by 35,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent from 4.9 percent in August, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Excluding the hurricane, the government estimates employment would have risen by about 195,000, in line with job growth for the last year, the bureau said. "It is clear that Hurricane Katrina adversely affected labor market conditions in September," Philip L. Rones, the deputy commissioner for the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, said in prepared remar...