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Hurricanes Will Worsen Skilled Labor, Materials Shortages

Add Hurricane Rita to Hurricane Katrina and the result is even greater shortages of construction labor and materials in the U.S., says New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co.

Roofers, electricians, plumbers, and heating and cooling specialists are in short supply as are lumber, sheetrock, shingles and carpets. "Keep in mind that the homebuilding industry was already running flat out at [a] 2+ million seasonally adjusted annual rate [for] housing starts before these hurricanes did their damage," states Merrill.

More On Hurricane Katrina

See IndustryWeek's Hurricane Katrina News & Resources section for more on coverage and how companies are responding.
Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast on August 29 and Rita made landfall there on September 24.
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