With Its Economic Heft, Houston Is Equipped to Recover From Harvey

Unlike New Orleans after Katrina, the city is better-positioned to absorb the blow from what could be the most expensive U.S. storm ever

But unlike New Orleans, the greater Houston area economy is better equipped to absorb the blow because of its size, diversity and prominence as the nation’s energy hub.

.. Houston is the country’s fourth-largest city by population and economic output, with 2.3 million people and a gross domestic product of more than $503 billion

.. At the time of Katrina, New Orleans had a population of roughly 450,000 and an economy largely dependent on tourism.

.. Some 84% of Houston’s economy was dependent on the oil-and-gas industry during the 1980s, according to data from the Dallas Federal Reserve. But that had dropped to about 44% by 2016.

.. Houston boasts one of the largest medical centers in the world. Its health-care and education industries were the city’s largest employers as of 2014

.. Mr. Kamins of Moody’s predicts the real “economic tragedy” will be for homeowners. He predicts that most of the property damage—$30 to $40 billion in damage to homes and vehicles—will be residential and is unlikely to be covered by insurance.

.. construction would provide a short-term boost to the economy, but that there could be constraints on the available labor force for building projects if people leave and don’t return and President Donald Trump pursues tighter immigration policies.

..  you can’t rebuild Houston without Mexican labor.”

.. Nearly 40% of small businesses never reopen their doors following a flood disaster, in part because many are uninsured