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Stronger and more frequent hurricanes threaten job growth in coastal counties (Rushaine Goulbourne, Brookings)

The southeastern coast of the United States is threatened yearly by hurricanes, some receiving more media coverage and resources than others. Coastal states such as Florida experience more hurricane impacts than other states and thus the greatest labor market disruptions from these disasters. My recent study analyzes the effect hurricanes have on employment and wage growth in Florida counties. The study also demonstrates the importance of using hurricane strength measures. Results show that the job growth effect of hurricanes is felt primarily through falling employment growth in the quarter following a hurricane. Strong hurricanes damage both employers and employees, but impose greater consequences on employees through labor displacement that may either be temporary or permanent. Temporary relocation to areas not affected by hurricanes restricts workers from jobs and income needed to address post-hurricane concerns such as secure housing. Where relocation is permanent, workers are faced with the challenge of seeking new jobs. The process of resettlement can lead to long term unemployment, further episodes of job loss and lower wages.

Stronger and more frequent hurricanes threaten job growth in coastal counties (brookings.edu)