MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Sad Aftermath of Katrina: Joblessness

281,745 Louisiana residents have filed for unemployment benefits in the seven weeks, citing the storms as the cause for unemployment, in the seven weeks since Katrina hit. This figure represents 14 percent of the workers in the state or 47 percent of all the workers in the seven-parish New Orleans region. In short, unemployment is widespread.
While Katrina has created jobs—primarily manual work in the construction, manufacturing, anything in the building trades, these jobs to do not present a viable option to many those left jobless.
But for many professionals, the work just isn't there right now with so many businesses still not functioning. Also, many people can't return to work because their homes are uninhabitable.

Making matters worse, the safety net is tenuous.
Louisiana’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund threatens to be drained bare.
And the US Congress has yet to pass legislation to extend unemployment benefits to those left jobless by America’s worst natural disaster. Two bills are before Congress. One proposal would extend jobless benefits to 39 weeks instead of the current 26, with the federal government picking up the tab for the additional weeks. A second proposal would reimburse $400 million the state's unemployment compensation fund.
Let’s ensure Katrina’s victims have a safety net and lobby Congress to take action.


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