NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees - or about half the city's workforce - because of the damage done to New Orleans' finances by Hurricane Katrina.
Nagin announced with "great sadness" that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll.
Meanwhile, former President Clinton met with dozens of New Orleans-area evacuees staying at a shelter in Baton Rouge's convention center. And officials ended their door-to-door sweep for corpses in Louisiana with the death toll Tuesday at 972 - far fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had feared at one point. Mississippi's Katrina death toll was 221.
A company hired by the state to remove bodies will remain on call if any others are found.
Clinton, working with former President Bush to raise money for victims, shook hands and chatted with the evacuees, some of whom have been sleeping on cots in the Rivercenter's vast concrete hall for more than a month and complained of lack of showers, clean clothes, privacy and medical care.
"My concern is to listen to you ... and learn the best way to spend this money we've got," Clinton said.
Robert Warner, 51, of New Orleans said he and others have struggled to get private housing set up through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We've been mired in the bureaucratic red tape since Day One," he said.