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Spike in Shift of Workers from Flood Affected Areas to Safer Grounds

It was unclear how permanent the retreat of workers from Midwest areas that were recently flooded would prove to be, Berger said

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It is also possible to predict how long the duration of flooding and inundation will be, they said. VOA

Deadly floods in the U.S. that bear the fingerprints of climate change are prompting an exodus of workers from the Midwest, the world’s biggest professional social network, LinkedIn, said Wednesday.

The website, on which millions of U.S. workers maintain profiles, said data showed a spike in members changing their work location from areas flooded last month to cities in the Southwest and on the West Coast.

“When you look at the most real-time data that we have, and that’s our ‘job starts’, we’ve seen those come down quite a bit in the cities that have been hit,” said Guy Berger, chief economist at LinkedIn.

The finding emerged from a LinkedIn analysis of user-generated data. LinkedIn users can share their location and job information — such as when they start a new job — on their profile.

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FILE – This aerial photo shows flooding along the Missouri River in Pacific Junction, Iowa, March 19, 2019. VOA

Hiring rates tracked through the platform dropped across the Midwest, LinkedIn said in its April U.S. workforce report, published Monday.

Omaha, Nebraska, and Fargo, North Dakota, registered among the most extreme decreases in hiring rates at nearly 8 and 14 percent respectively, it said.

The findings were based on the more than 155 million profiles of U.S. workers that are listed on the site, the company said. The U.S. labor force — employed and unemployed people — totaled 163 million people last month, according to the Department of Labor.

Climate change had a hand in the record floods that have damaged crops and drowned livestock along the Missouri, Red and Mississippi rivers, especially in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, scientists have said.

Fargo was also among communities impacted, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

midwest, floods, shift workers
It was unclear how permanent the retreat of workers from Midwest areas that were recently flooded would prove to be, Berger said. Pixabay

LinkedIn’s workforce report said that it has noticed “migration trends” following other natural disasters, such as Hurricane Irma, which hit the U.S. East Coast in 2017.

Workers would likely move to such cities as Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix and Seattle, largely due to their proximity, affordability and growing economies, Berger predicted. It was unclear how permanent the retreat of workers from Midwest areas that were recently flooded would prove to be, Berger said.

ALSO READ: Midwest Farmers Dealing with Flood Water in a Planting Season

But a repeat of extreme weather events could lead to “a sustained bleed of talent,” he said.

A handful of American cities, from Duluth, Minnesota, to Cincinnati, Ohio, have begun promoting themselves as future havens for U.S. climate migrants as climate change is predicted to cause intense natural disasters elsewhere. (VOA)

Next Story

Snowstorms at Peak, Five Killed in Midwest

At Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, most flights were canceled or delayed.

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A man clears snow from sidewalk in downtown Chicago, Jan. 12, 2019. A winter weather advisory for the region was in effect until 3 a.m. Sunday. (VOA)

A massive winter snowstorm that blanketed several Midwest states was a factor in at least five road deaths on Saturday and forced the grounds crew to scramble to clear snow from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City ahead of the NFL divisional playoff game.

The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, covering roads and making driving dangerous. Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at one point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as eight hours.

In Indiana, the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 were closed for hours Saturday after a semitrailer-truck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway near Lafayette, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.

Heading east

The storm began to spread east into the Mid-Atlantic region, with between 5 and 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of snow expected in the Washington area, including parts of northern and central Maryland, by Sunday. Forecasters said heavy snow could fall in mountain areas north of Interstate 64, such as Charlottesville and Staunton, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday night to help the state of Virginia prepare.

Missouri had gotten the worst of the storm by Saturday, with the National Weather Service reporting more than a foot (30.48 centimeters) of snow Saturday morning in some places around St. Louis and Jefferson City, and more than 18 inches (45 centimeters) in Columbia.

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Kyle Haraugh, of NFL Films, clears snow from a camera location at Arrowhead Stadium before an NFL divisional football playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts, in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 12, 2019. (VOA)

In Kansas City, where the Chiefs were hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, about 8 inches of snow had fallen by early afternoon. The snow had tapered off by the time the game started at midafternoon, but stadium crews worked for hours before the game to clear the stadium’s lot, field and seats in anticipation of a full house for the playoff game.

At least five people were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri. They included a woman and her 14-year-old stepdaughter whose car slid into the path of a semitrailer-truck in Clinton, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City, on Friday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Another woman died when her car slid on U.S. 24 in northern Missouri and was hit by an oncoming SUV.

In Kansas, a 62-year-old man died after his pickup truck skidded on the Kansas Turnpike and hit a concrete barrier, according to the patrol. Another crash involving two semitrailer-trucks in snowy conditions killed a 41-year-old driver from Mexico, the patrol said.

“We’re anticipating still more snow through today, so we’re asking motorists to stay home until the roads are cleared,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg, stationed in suburban Kansas City. “If you do have to get out on the road, we’re asking you to do three things: Have your cellphone fully charged, wear your seat belt and slow your speed for the conditions.”

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Kyle Haraugh, of NFL Films, clears snow from a camera location at Arrowhead Stadium before an NFL divisional football playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts, in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 12, 2019.(voa)

Missouri troopers responded to more than 3,000 calls for help through early Saturday afternoon, including more than 700 crashes and 1,300 stranded vehicles. Illinois State Police said troopers along the Mississippi River across from St. Louis had responded to more than 100 crashes during the storm.

Also Read: Nature Therapy Can Reduce Distress, Behavioural Problems in Kids

At Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, most flights were canceled or delayed.

In central Missouri, officials said about 12,000 households and businesses were without power in Columbia and the surrounding area at one point. (VOA)