Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Tuesday, October 10

Economist Finds Recovery Uneven

Economist Dr. Loren C. Scott has released a report sponsored by Capital One, N.A., titled "Advancing in the Aftermath III: Tracking the Recovery from Katrina and Rita," which finds recovery remains mixed on the Gulf Coast in the wake of last year's hurricanes.

Employment statistics, sales tax collections, large construction projects and other key economic indicators point to an accelerating recovery in many Gulf Coast communities damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Economic growth driven by construction and manufacturing in Pascagoula and Lake Charles, La., parallels the aggressive recovery patterns that most regions encounter following a major natural disaster.

Yet despite these improvements, the economic impact of Katrina and Rita continued to negatively affect key cities in the Gulf Coast region through the second quarter of 2006.
"Much of the recovery to date has been driven by construction in communities where money is available for repair and replacement of damaged structures and housing is available to accommodate an expanding work force," Scott said.

On Mississippi's Gulf Coast, Scott pointed to casinos in Biloxi-Gulfport and shipbuilding in Pascagoula as examples of progress. Scott said that legislation allowing casinos to be built along the shore rather than on the water and Gulf Opportunity Zone assistance programs provide strong incentives to accelerate rebuilding and new casino developments.

Overall, the report states that large industries and manufacturers, including shipbuilding operations and ports, have recovered faster than small businesses.



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