Unemployment Rate and Disaster Clean-up

The government takes credit where it deserves and often times where it does not deserve. I am curious about what kind of impact the recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita will have on our society concerning the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate nationally was doing well shortly before the hurricanes hit (unemployment statistics). Now, there are masses of people heading down to the coast to perform contract work for the government. We all know that these jobs are temporary, but will the government give praise to itself for "creating" these jobs? If so, will it only be in effort to counteract the drastic number of people who have lost their jobs in the southern region? What is even more interesting to me, is how will these hurricanes affect the national unemployment rate? Granted they (hurricanes) left a dent in our economy, but is our economy's "airbag" sufficient to withstand the blow? I believe it is, so long as we all do our part, especially the government!


Ann said...

It sounds to me like the government is doing their job. Is it really the governments job to create permanent jobs for everyone? I submit that it is not. The government is trying to just keep the economic ball rolling. It's not much different from FDR's attempts in the 30's to create jobs. Unfortunately, we don't know if that ever worked, because WWII came and created jobs for everyone. If you ask me, creating even temporary jobs is a big help. No one has a permanent job in the first place.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Ann's comment for a grammatical error.

I don't think anyone knows how this will play out yet. Surely Katrina will create some unemployment. I don't think there will be too much reduction in unemployment from contracting - those people would have worked elsewhere for the most part.

My guess is that we won't know for a long time. A lot of people have not actually been let go by their employers yet. Refugees who have no job are often still in a position where they can't file for unemployment because their employer has no records or can't find them.