Harvey and Irma Magnifying Labor Shortage

October 5, 2017
Construction site
Photo: Pexels

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the demand for workers able to rebuild communities is greater than the supply. The Washington Post reports reconstruction for the affected areas as being uniquely impacted by an already tight labor market.

From late August to mid-September, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma destroyed property across Texas and Florida, causing up to $200 billion in damages, according to an early estimate from Moody’s Analytics. Maria brought further devastation, setting Puerto Rico's economy back decades. However, the island commonwealth has an 11.4 percent unemployment rate, which makes for a different labor situation.​​ Economists fear the otherwise tight U.S. labor market could hold back reconstruction, compared to previous disasters.

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