Thursday, September 08, 2005

Thousands lose jobs after Katrina

Thousands lose jobs after Katrina

Hurricane Katrina led to 10,000 new claims by Americans for jobless benefit last week, US government figures show.

But despite the surge in claims from New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama and neighbouring states, the overall US new claims total fell by 1,000 to 319,000.

The less volatile four-week moving average showed jobless claims had risen by 2,000 to 318,500.

Officials have warned that Hurricane Katrina is likely to result in a large rise in unemployment benefit claims.

Hurricane fallout

Government officials said that the increase in claims from areas devastated by Katrina was merely an estimate as many labour offices had been closed as a result of the storm, making it impossible for people to file their paperwork.

Experts added that many other people affected by the storm could delay making claims while they deal with more immediate needs.

Cities and metropolitan areas in the region worst hit by the hurricane accounted for more than a million jobs in July, according to reports.

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Department estimated that Katrina could result in around 400,000 job losses in coming months.

Story from BBC NEWS: