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Floodwaters in Hamburg, Iowa, March 20. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Workers are permanently moving from flood-ravaged towns and cities in the U.S. Midwest, an exodus that could hurt already-struggling manufacturing and agriculture companies, according to a new report.

What's happening: Flooding last month from heavy rains caused more than $3 billion in damage in Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and elsewhere, AP reports. Among companies sustaining damage were Big Ag's Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Tyson.

  • In a new report provided first to Axios, LinkedIn said members from flood zones are changing their place of residence in considerable numbers.
  • Based on that, and what workers did in prior natural disasters — Miami for example had a 62.9% increase in net migration in the calendar year after Hurricane Irma in 2017 — LinkedIn forecasts a comparatively large migration to the Southwest in the coming months.
  • "[W]e expect to see an increase in workers moving to: Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle, and Phoenix," LinkedIn said.
  • "It's important to consider that severe weather caused by climate change may have lasting consequences on the economic health and vitality of regions like the Midwest that are already struggling to retain jobs and talent," said Guy Berger, LinkedIn's chief economist.

Agriculture and manufacturing companies, such as Cargill and Tyson, are among those that are likely to be hit hard by the migration of workers to the Southwest, LinkedIn said.

Neither Cargill nor Tyson responded to emails seeking comment.

Go deeper

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
3 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

3 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.