Will Harvey Lead to Industry Job Growth? Past Storm Stats Say Yes

When it is time to rebuild, you can bet that there will be a plethora of construction jobs to repair roads, buildings and homes around the state.

📅   Tue August 29, 2017 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


While the damage done by Hurricane Harvey is still being assessed, it is already clear that the storm has caused a massive amount of damage to many Texas communities.
While the damage done by Hurricane Harvey is still being assessed, it is already clear that the storm has caused a massive amount of damage to many Texas communities.

While the damage done by Hurricane Harvey is still being assessed, it is already clear that the storm has caused a massive amount of damage to many Texas communities.

When it is time to rebuild, you can bet that there will be a plethora of construction jobs to repair roads, buildings and homes around the state. This is a common trend following recent natural disasters across the country: in the months post-storm, the construction industry employment rate grows faster than the national average, Quartz Media reported.

Take a look at these numbers:

  • Hurricane Katrina: Although it initially grew at a slower pace than the national average immediately after the storm, about five months later, Louisiana's construction employment rate grew more than four percent, year-over-year, Quartz Media reported. In the year following, the state added 7,800 construction jobs for a total increase of 6.4 percent.
  • Hurricane Ike: When Ike hit Texas in 2008, it stole the title for the third most damaging storm in U.S. history, Quartz Media reported. Construction job growth beat the national average that year. When the housing bubble burst shortly after, Ike's rebuild projects ensured that Texas construction workers were losing their jobs at a slower rate than workers in the rest of the country.
  • Hurricane Sandy: Hurricane Sandy slammed New York City and surrounding areas in the fall of 2012, but New York's year-over-year construction job growth wasn't hugely significant in the year following the storm. New Jersey saw growth in the construction sector for 10 of 12 months, and even beat the national average for six months. But while New Jersey's growth rate bested New York's, the state's size was no comparison to its neighbor: It only added 9,800 construction jobs, compared to New York's 16,700, Quartz Media reported.