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Tracking Hurricanes’ Potential Impact on Workforce and Industries

Business and Economy

Tracking Hurricanes’ Potential Impact on Workforce and Industries

Business and Economy

Census OnTheMap Data Tool Helps Measure Impact of Disasters

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This week, the U.S. Census Bureau joins a group of public and private organizations in celebrating Manufacturing Week, ending with today’s seventh annual observance of Manufacturing Day. Throughout the week, we will release stories, infographics and other valuable data products on the manufacturing sector of the nation’s economy.

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As the Carolinas continue to battle the effect of devastating flooding and destruction caused by Florence, we are once again reminded of the continuing threat to coastal communities posed by hurricanes – including their potentially significant impact on industries such as manufacturing.

With each new storm, people and businesses brace for the impact – lives are at risk, while homes and businesses are destroyed.

Before and after disaster strikes anywhere in the country, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Emergency Management Map, OnTheMap, a public-use data tool, can make a difference in understanding the potential impact of those disasters. OnTheMap provides critical information on the potential effects of disasters on the U.S. workforce, population and manufacturing industries.

With recent improvements, users can now see recent social, economic, and housing data from the ACS, gaining even further insight into communities affected by disaster events.

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Figure 1: Total manufacture workers during Hurricane Florence on September 15, 2018 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 LEHD Origin‐Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) database, accessed via OnTheMap for Emergency Management)

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On August 25, 2017, Category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall and caused about $125 billion in damages. Less than three weeks later, Irma followed, making landfall on September 12, 2017, with damages estimated at $50 to $150 billion,  according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From the OnTheMap tool, users can clearly see how Hurricane Harvey affected nearly 200,000 manufacturing workers, while Hurricane Irma affected more than 1 million manufacturer workers in over 400 counties.

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Figure 2: Total manufacture workers during Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 LEHD Origin‐Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) database, accessed via OnTheMap for Emergency Management)

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Knowing Who is Affected by Disasters

Users of OnTheMap for Emergency management can easily retrieve reports containing detailed workforce, population, and housing characteristics for hurricanes, floods, wildfires, winter storms, and federal disaster declaration areas.

An intuitive web-based interface presents data for rapidly-changing hazard event areas. Data are automatically updated in real time with information from the National Weather Service’s (NWS) National Hurricane Center (NHC), Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Agriculture (DOA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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Figure 3: Total manufacture workers during Hurricane Irma on September 12, 2017 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 LEHD Origin‐Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) database, accessed via OnTheMap for Emergency Management)

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The ability to pinpoint the count and characteristics of people working and living in affected areas can help in emergency preparedness and recovery efforts. Statistics can even be generated for specific segments of the workforce, such as age, earnings, or industry groups.

Along with the 2010 Census Data and the American Community Survey (ACS), workforce-related data made available in OnTheMap for Emergency Management are provided by the LEHD Origin‐Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) database.

These data comprise a variety of statistics describing the U.S. workforce along with information on residential and workplace locations. The information can help determine the number and location of workers living and working within affected areas or identify potential impact to various demographic groups and sectors of the economy.

Please send questions or comments to CES.OnTheMap.Feedback@census.gov.

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Earlene K.P. Dowell is a program analyst in the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program


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This story was posted in: Business and Economy


Tags: Business and Economy
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