Analysis of employment change in response to hurricane landfalls



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Hurricanes cause extensive harm to local economies, and in some cases the recovery may take years. As an adequate, skilled, and trained workforce is a prerequisite for economic development and capacity building, employment plays an important role in disaster reduction and mitigation efforts. The statistical relationship between hurricane landfalls and observed changes in employment at the county level is investigated. Hurricane impact is classified into temporary and permanent categories. In the former category, the level of economic activities is lowered following a hurricane landfall but quickly recovers to the pre-storm norm. In contrast, the permanent shift alters the mean value of the data and results in lasting losses in future years. The results show that Hurricane Katrina produced significant permanent impact on Orleans County, Louisiana. Chambers and Fort Bend counties experienced a significant temporary impact due to the landfall of Hurricane Ike. The results are further discussed through a qualitative analysis of various social, economic, and engineering factors in these affected communities. The findings support the notion that a higher resilience level leads to quicker recovery after a disaster. However, the underlying data-generating processes are characterized and tested in a more detailed manner.


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Cui, Y., Liang, D., & Ewing, B.. 2020. Analysis of employment change in response to hurricane landfalls. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 20(2).