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Congressman to Evacuees: Get a Job

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - Some people in Houston are starting to lose patience with Hurricane Katrina evacuees still jobless after the August storm devastated New Orleans.

Congressman John Culberson wants what he calls "deadbeat" evacuees from New Orleans out of the city.

Culberson's district neighbors the city's southwest pocket where many of 150,000 Katrina evacuees settled in Houston.

The congressman says, "You have to make an effort not to have a job in Houston."

Labor analysts tend to agree. But jobless evacuees insist that finding work in the nation's fourth-largest city isn't as simple as Houston's five percent unemployment rate might suggest.

A Zogby poll commissioned by the city in March found that 85 percent of the 606 evacuees surveyed were still out of work. Sixty percent said they were looking for jobs.

One job counselor with WorkSource, the city's employment assistance program, said evacuees complain about the overwhelming bus and rail systems that make navigation difficult.

Others raised concerns about bureaucratic holdups like professional licenses not being valid in Texas.


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