BLS Information

Labor Market Statistics for Areas Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: September and October 2005

The data for September 2005 were the first from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program to reflect the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast on August 29 with catastrophic effects in parts of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This page presents a summary of those September data along with October data, and links to detailed county data.

Hurricane Rita made landfall after the September reference periods for the Current Population Survey and the Current Employment Statistics program, which provide inputs for LAUS estimation.

Revised data for August 2005 for areas affected by Katrina and Rita can be found at http://www.bls.gov/katrina/data.htm#2. Those data and the data below are not seasonally adjusted; therefore, over-the-month comparisons are discouraged.

Labor force and unemployment, September 2005 (revised, not seasonally adjusted)

In September 2005, the areas most affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had a labor force of about 3.1 million workers, of whom 324,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for these most affected areas was 10.5 percent, 5.7 percentage points higher than the 4.8-percent rate for the U.S. as a whole.

Table 1. September 2005 labor force, employment, and unemployment, revised, not seasonally adjusted, in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (rates in percent), entire State and most affected areas in State
State or area Labor force Employment Unemployment level Unemployment rate
Entire State

Alabama

2,169,355 2,081,973 87,382 4.0

Florida

8,757,070 8,427,298 329,772 3.8

Louisiana

2,004,625 1,777,069 227,556 11.4

Mississippi

1,299,299 1,171,811 127,488 9.8

Texas

11,276,764 10,684,597 592,167 5.3

TOTAL

25,507,113 24,142,748 1,364,365 5.3

Most affected areas* in State

Alabama

394,752 376,666 18,086 4.6

Louisiana

1,433,054 1,252,679 180,375 12.6

Mississippi

869,475 769,590 99,885 11.5

Texas

396,485 370,425 26,060 6.6

TOTAL

3,093,766 2,769,360 324,406 10.5

* Note: These data represent the 10 counties in Alabama, 34 parishes in Louisiana, 47 counties in Mississippi, and 9 counties in Texas that were designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for both individual and public disaster assistance as of September 30, 2005.

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics

The overall unemployment rate in Louisiana was 11.4 percent in September. The most-affected areas in the state had an average unemployment rate of 12.6 percent. For 7 of the hardest-hit parishes in the state, individual unemployment rates are not available for September, because of the impact of Katrina on data collection.

Mississippi's overall September unemployment rate was 9.8 percent. In Mississippi, the most affected counties had an aggregate jobless rate of 11.5 percent.

In contrast, the unemployment rate was below the national average in Alabama in September 2005, and the most heavily affected counties in Alabama had an average unemployment rate of 4.6 percent. The unemployment rate in Florida was 3.8 percent in September 2005.

In Texas, the unemployment rate, at 5.3 percent, was one-half of a percentage point above the national average in September. (As mentioned above, the reference period for the September data was before Hurricane Rita struck eastern Texas and western Louisiana.)

State and individual county labor force and unemployment data tables from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program — September 2005:
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas (PDF files).

County unemployment rate maps for September 2005 from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program:
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas (PDF files).

Labor force and unemployment, October 2005 (revised, not seasonally adjusted)

In October 2005, the unemployment rate for the areas most affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was 10.5 percent, 5.9 percentage points higher than the 4.6-percent rate for the U.S. as a whole.

Table 2. October 2005 labor force, employment, and unemployment, revised, not seasonally adjusted, in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (rates in percent), entire State and most affected areas in State
State or area Labor force Employment Unemployment level Unemployment rate
Entire State

Alabama

2,191,653 2,092,427 99,226 4.5

Florida

8,781,944 8,474,953 306,991 3.5

Louisiana

1,974,707 1,744,408 230,299 11.7

Mississippi

1,299,629 1,186,785 112,844 8.7

Texas

11,320,982 10,745,171 575,811 5.1

TOTAL

25,568,915 24,243,744 1,325,171 5.2

Most affected areas* in State

Alabama

397,697 379,060 18,637 4.7

Louisiana

1,413,980 1,227,936 186,044 13.2

Mississippi

866,780 782,126 84,654 9.8

Texas

400,258 365,129 35,129 8.8

TOTAL

3,078,715 2,754,251 324,464 10.5

* Note: These data represent the 10 counties in Alabama, 34 parishes in Louisiana, 47 counties in Mississippi, and 9 counties in Texas that were designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for both individual and public disaster assistance as of September 30, 2005.

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics

The overall unemployment rate in Louisiana was 11.7 percent in October. The most-affected areas in the state had an average unemployment rate of 13.2 percent. As was the case for September, individual unemployment rates are not available for October for 7 of the hardest-hit parishes in the state, because of the impact of Katrina on data collection.

Mississippi's overall October unemployment rate was 8.7 percent and the most affected counties had an aggregate jobless rate of 9.8 percent.

The unemployment rate in Alabama in October 2005 (4.5 percent) was about the same as the national average; the most heavily affected counties in Alabama had an average unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

In Texas, the overall unemployment rate for October was 5.1 percent.The most-affected areas in Texas had an average unemployment rate of 8.8 percent.

In Florida, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in October.

State and individual county labor force and unemployment data tables from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program — October 2005:
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas (PDF files).

County unemployment rate maps for October 2005 from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program:
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas (PDF files).

Hurricane Information | Employment and Unemployment Data Collection and Estimation

Last Modified Date: January 5, 2006

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