Saturday, October 07, 2006

After the flood: Katrina recovery update

In the months since Hurricane Katrina, the Brookings Institution has been tracking reconstruction efforts with a “Katrina Index.” The group’s recent year-in-review report found some signs of life and hope in metropolitan New Orleans: the housing market seemed to be moving again, with home rehabilitation and demolition proceeding apace and rents on the rise; many hospitals and schools had reopened; tourists were returning. But there was also plenty of bad news.

Fewer than half of all bus and streetcar routes were running, a proportion that hadn’t budged since January; only a third of the region’s restaurants and grocery stores had reopened, as had fewer than a quarter of child-care centers. Gas and electricity were flowing into 40 percent and 60 percent respectively of the homes and businesses that received those services before the hurricane struck. This mixed picture reflects not just the lack of power in large parts of the city, but also the failure of hundreds of thousands of New Orleanians to return.

Six months after the hurricane, the city’s labor force had dropped by a third, from 633,759 to 429,469; as of August it stood at just 444,153, and the unemployment rate was rising faster than the growth of the labor force.

Atlantic Monthly | Primary Sources

Click here for pdf version of the Katrina Index.


Post a Comment

<< Home