The Impact of Project Impact on the Wilmington, North Carolina, Labor Market
In 1997, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a new initiative called Project Impact. The initiative was designed to make communities more resistant and resilient to the disruption and disaster associated with natural hazards. One of the pilot communities was Wilmington/New Hanover County, North Carolina, an area susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms. This article examines the impact of Project Impact on this communityâ€™s labor market, allowing for the disturbances caused by the storms themselves. The findings suggest that the activities and coordination efforts associated with Project Impact coincide with improvements in the Wilmington labor market characterized by a lower natural unemployment rate and a reduction of labor market risk. These findings may be taken as evidence that Project Impact can improve the performance of a local economy. The results suggest that at the very least, increased interaction between public and private sectors may be associated with improved labor market conditions.
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