BLS Information

Labor Market Statistics Prior to Disaster for Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina

This is an archive page showing data that were at http://www.bls.gov/katrina/data.htm from September 26, 2005 to October 6, 2005. The data below only pertain to Hurricane Katrina. Note that the data shown below are preliminary and either have been revised or continue to be subject to revision. On October 6, data pertaining to both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were posted to http://www.bls.gov/katrina/data.htm.

Hurricane Katrina resulted in a tragic loss of life and significant disruption of local economies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces a wide range of labor market data that may be used in evaluation of the scale of the storm's economic disruption. The facts and figures here are meant to establish conditions in the most affected local labor markets as they were before the hurricane struck and do not reflect any impacts from the hurricane.

This page and the pages it currently links to will be updated as new data and analyses become available. August 2005 data on regions, States, and metropolitan areas will not reflect the impact of Hurricane Katrina. BLS is assessing the impact of the storm on its data collection and estimation processes and will make information available on a flow basis about any effects on those processes. (See Effects of Hurricane Katrina on BLS Employment and Unemployment Data Collection and Estimation.)

Establishments, employment, and total wages, annual average data (2004)

One labor market baseline is the number of business establishments, their total employment, and the wages they paid to their workers in 2004, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has complete data.

Table 1. 2004 annual average establishments, employment, and total wages in the 86 counties and parishes most affected by Hurricane Katrina
"Most-affected" areas in State Establishments
Number As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

20,223 17.7% 0.2%

Louisiana

83,177 71.6% 1.0%

Mississippi

41,941 63.3% 0.5%

TOTAL

145,341 1.7%
"Most-affected" areas in State Employment
Number As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

317,206 17.1% 0.2%

Louisiana

1,377,522 73.8% 1.1%

Mississippi

729,466 66.0% 0.6%

TOTAL

2,424,194 1.9%
"Most-affected" areas in State Wages
Dollars As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

9,875,074,243 16.0% 0.2%

Louisiana

45,562,797,147 76.7% 0.9%

Mississippi

21,287,302,242 67.5% 0.4%

TOTAL

76,725,173,632 1.5%

Note: These data represent the 8 counties in Alabama, 31 parishes in Louisiana, and 47 counties in Mississippi that were designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for both individual and public disaster assistance as of September 8, 2005.

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Table 2. Establishments by industry in the 86 counties and parishes most affected by Hurricane Katrina, 2004 annual average
Ownership and industry Establishments
Number As a percentage of US total

TOTAL

145,341 1.7%

Private, Total

138,968 1.7%

Natural Resources and Mining

3,292 2.7%

Construction

12,897 1.6%

Manufacturing

5,664 1.5%

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

37,699 2.0%

Information

2,100 1.5%

Financial Activities

15,787 2.0%

Professional and Business Services

21,801 1.6%

Education and Health Services

13,470 1.8%

Leisure and Hospitality

12,198 1.8%

Other Services

13,446 1.2%

Unclassified

705 0.4%

Federal Government, Total

1,346 2.6%

State Government, Total

1,700 2.6%

Local Government, Total

3,337 2.2%

Note: These data represent the 8 counties in Alabama, 31 parishes in Louisiana, and 47 counties in Mississippi that were designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for both individual and public disaster assistance as of September 8, 2005.

As shown in the table 1, there were roughly 145,000 establishments in the most affected areas — those requiring Federal relief to individuals as well as to State and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations. These establishments employed some 2.4 million workers and paid them approximately $77 billion in wages in 2004. These areas accounted for 1.7 percent of all establishments in the United States and for substantially larger shares of the national total of establishments in the natural resources and mining (2.7 percent) industry and Federal and State government (2.6 percent each). (See table 2.)

Table 3. 2004 annual average establishments, employment, and wages in all 169 counties and parishes affected by Hurricane Katrina
All affected areas in State Establishments
Number As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

39,891 34.9% 0.5%

Florida

177,249 33.8% 2.1%

Louisiana

116,096 100.0% 1.4%

Mississippi

66,237 100.0% 0.8%

TOTAL

399,473 4.8%
All affected areas in State Employment
Number As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

701,436 37.9% 0.5%

Florida

2,154,906 28.9% 1.7%

Louisiana

1,866,499 100.0% 1.4%

Mississippi

1,105,763 100.0% 0.9%

TOTAL

5,828,604 4.5%
All affected areas in State Wages
Dollars As a percentage of state total As a percentage of US total

Alabama

24,958,437,179 40.3% 0.5%

Florida

79,439,521,724 30.3% 1.6%

Louisiana

59,424,097,229 100.0% 1.2%

Mississippi

31,548,214,635 100.0% 0.6%

TOTAL

195,370,270,767 3.8%

Note: These data represent the 12 counties in Alabama, 11 counties in Florida, 64 parishes in Louisiana, and 82 counties in Mississippi that were designated by FEMA to receive any form of federal disaster assistance (individual or public assistance or both) as of September 8, 2005.

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

The areas that were designated to receive any form of federal disaster assistance had a total of about 5.8 million jobs in about 400,000 establishments. (See table 3.) These jobs represented 4.5 percent of the national total. Employment in natural resources and mining in all the affected areas of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi accounted for 6.1 percent of the industry's national total. These areas accounted for 5.1 percent of the nation's employment in the leisure and hospitality industry. (See table 4.)

Table 4. Establishments, employment, and wages by industry in all 169 counties and parishes affected by Hurricane Katrina, 2004 annual averages
Ownership and industry Establishments Employment Wages
Number As a percentage of US total Number As a percentage of US total Dollars As a percentage of US total

TOTAL

399,473 4.8% 5,828,604 4.5% 195,370,270,767 3.8%

Private, Total

387,168 4.8% 4,786,046 4.4% 158,015,016,633 3.7%

Natural Resources and Mining

6,801 5.5% 101,551 6.1% 4,152,174,182 6.9%

Construction

34,932 4.3% 340,500 4.9% 11,931,955,944 4.3%

Manufacturing

14,449 3.9% 501,777 3.5% 20,376,236,542 3.0%

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

103,948 5.6% 1,229,535 4.9% 37,892,830,141 4.4%

Information

6,722 4.7% D D

Financial Activities

43,367 5.5% 347,709 4.4% 15,422,430,549 3.2%

Professional and Business Services

68,550 5.1% 640,756 3.9% 24,532,850,440 3.2%

Education and Health Services

37,026 5.0% 685,824 4.3% 23,486,604,842 4.0%

Leisure and Hospitality

31,326 4.6% 639,076 5.1% 10,413,633,948 5.0%

Other Services

36,388 3.4% D D

Unclassified

3,692 2.1% 7,155 2.8% 203,678,804 2.1%

Federal Government, Total

2,647 5.1% 119,875 4.4% 6,472,962,573 4.1%

State Government, Total

3,410 5.3% 238,707 5.3% 8,313,562,848 4.5%

Local Government, Total

6,252 4.0% 683,979 5.0% 22,568,728,713 4.5%

D = Data do not meet BLS disclosure standards.

Note: These data represent the 12 counties in Alabama, 11 counties in Florida, 64 parishes in Louisiana, and 82 counties in Mississippi that were designated by FEMA to receive any form of federal disaster assistance (individual or public assistance or both) as of September 8, 2005.

Individual county and State annual average establishment, employment, and wage data by industry for 2004 are available from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program:
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi (Zipped XLS spreadsheet files).

Labor force and unemployment, July 2005 (not seasonally adjusted)

In July 2005 — the most recent month for which data for counties are available — the areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina had a labor force of about 2.8 million workers, of whom 165,000 were unemployed. The unemployment rate for these combined areas was 5.8 percent, 0.6 percentage point higher than the rate for the U.S. as a whole.

Table 5. July 2005 labor force, employment, and unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi (levels in thousands and rate in percent), entire State and most affected areas in State
State or area Labor force Employment Unemployment level Unemployment rate
Entire State

Alabama

2,153,105 2,060,941 92,164 4.3

Florida

8,756,070 8,402,123 353,947 4.0

Louisiana

2,146,085 2,014,132 131,953 6.1

Mississippi

1,361,727 1,269,972 91,755 6.7

TOTAL

14,416,987 13,747,168 669,819 4.6

Most affected areas* in State

Alabama

380,047 363,888 16,159 4.3

Louisiana

1,528,710 1,439,330 89,380 5.8

Mississippi

913,876 854,554 59,322 6.5

TOTAL

2,822,633 2,657,772 164,861 5.8

* Note: These data represent the 8 counties in Alabama, 31 parishes in Louisiana, and 47 counties in Mississippi that were designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for both individual and public disaster assistance as of September 8, 2005.

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics

Unemployment rates in Mississippi and Louisiana were somewhat above the national average of 5.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in July 2005. Only one parish in Louisiana had an unemployment rate below 4.5 percent, and many had rates of 7.0 percent or more. The overall unemployment rate in Louisiana was 6.1 percent. In Mississippi, one county did have an unemployment rate under 4.0 percent, but, again, many had rates of 7.0 percent or more. Mississippi's July unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

In contrast, the unemployment rate was below the national average in Alabama in July 2005. However, four of the eight more heavily affected counties in Alabama had unemployment rates of 6.0 percent or higher. The unemployment rate in Florida was 4.0 percent in July 2005. Data on unemployment and the labor force for States, metropolitan areas, and counties are available online.

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

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

Note: For consistency, preliminary July data for States and counties are used in this section, even though revised data for July are now available for the States.

Business establishments in the path of Hurricane Katrina

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Katrina came ashore shortly after 6:00 a.m. on August 29, 2005, in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, just south of Buras and southeast of New Orleans. At landfall its winds were 140 m.p.h. Continuing northward, the hurricane made a second landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi State line at 10:00 a.m. with maximum winds near 125 m.p.h. Katrina weakened as it moved inland to the north-northeast but was still a hurricane 100 miles inland near Laurel, Mississippi.

Approximately 38 percent of business establishments in the combined area of Louisiana and Mississippi were within 100 miles of the path of the center of the storm. Approximately 66 percent of establishments in this area were within 200 miles. See map Locations of Business Establishments Relative to the Path of Hurricane Katrina (PDF).

Establishments in flooded and damaged zones

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released an imagery-derived assessment of the zones in Louisiana and Mississippi damaged by high winds and floodwaters resulting from Hurricane Katrina. As represented on the map, Business Establishments within Katrina-Damaged Areas as Identified by FEMA (PDF), there were just over 22,000 business establishments in areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that FEMA designated as flooded or damaged areas or both.

In some ways, the Katrina story was one of two very different States. In Louisiana, by far the greatest number of establishments within these zones were in flooded areas; the roughly 18,000 establishments in flooded areas employed over 300,000 workers in 2004. These workers accounted for nearly 97 percent of jobs within the FEMA-designated flood and damage zones in Louisiana.

In Mississippi, the circumstances were almost exactly reversed. Only about 1 percent of jobs in the flooded or damaged zones of Mississippi were in flooded areas, while fully 64 percent were in areas that suffered "catastrophic" storm damage, the most severe of the four categories used by FEMA. (See table 6 and the explanation of the four storm damage categories.)

Table 6. Establishments, Employment, and Quarterly Wages within Katrina-Damaged Areas as Defined by FEMA
Damage Type ALABAMA (Q:IV 2004)
Establish-
ments
Employ-
ment
Quarterly
Wages

Flooded Area

3 51 $726,121

Non-flooded area:

Limited Damage

91 1,710 $16,031,446

Moderate Damage

17 389 $3,145,097

Extensive Damage

0 0 $0

Catastrophic Damage

0 0 $0

TOTAL

111 2,150 $19,902,664
Damage Type LOUISIANA (Q:IV 2004)
Establish-
ments
Employ-
ment
Quarterly
Wages

Flooded Area

18,078 305,340 $2,966,338,291

Non-flooded area:

Limited Damage

681 7,731 $59,505,161

Moderate Damage

140 2,055 $12,701,137

Extensive Damage

45 577 $3,717,779

Catastrophic Damage

53 360 $4,880,302

TOTAL

18,997 316,063 $3,047,142,670
Damage Type MISSISSIPPI (Q:IV 2004)
Establish-
ments
Employ-
ment
Quarterly
Wages

Flooded Area

71 564 $4,501,983

Non-flooded area:

Limited Damage

994 10,898 $110,951,079

Moderate Damage

586 6,075 $41,556,049

Extensive Damage

119 2,206 $14,676,217

Catastrophic Damage

1,582 35,338 $247,454,539

TOTAL

3,352 55,081 $419,139,867
Explanation of FEMA Storm Damage Categories
  • Limited Damage: Generally superficial damage to solid structures (e.g. loss of tiles or roof shingles); some mobile homes and light structures are damaged or displaced.
  • Moderate Damage: Solid structures sustain exterior damage (e.g. missing roofs or roof segments); some mobile homes and light structures are destroyed, many are damaged or displaced.
  • Extensive Damage: Some solid structures are destroyed; most sustain exterior and interior damage (e.g. roofs are missing, interior walls exposed), most mobile homes and light structures are destroyed.
  • Catastrophic Damage: Most solid and all light or mobile structures are destroyed.

Note: Zones that were both flooded and storm-damaged were categorized in the "flooded area" designation. The Katrina-damaged areas are identified at very fine levels of geographic detail. They are distinct from the county level areas designated by FEMA as being eligible for disaster relief in that they have been identified as being within damage zones.

Links to additional labor market data

The most recent labor market data available for the affected States and selected metropolitan areas (those that included counties or parishes with disaster designations) can be found on the following Economy at a Glance pages:

Unemployment rates by county for July 2005 (maps and tables) also are available:

Additional data can be obtained through the following BLS program homepages:

and BLS regional office pages:

Affected area definitions

Hurricane Katrina caused physical and economic disruption over many areas spanning four States. In response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated a number of counties and parishes to receive public assistance to State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for purposes such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. A smaller number of counties were also designated for individual assistance to persons and households for housing, medical, dental, funeral, and transportation expenses related to the disaster.

The areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in BLS calculations were established by referring to the designated counties notices issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through September 8, 2005. (See www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema.)

An area was considered "affected" if it was designated by FEMA for any type of assistance. An area was defined as "most affected" if it was designated for both individual and public assistance. The following list shows all 169 affected counties or parishes; the 86 "most affected" counties or parishes are marked with an asterisk.

Alabama

Florida

Louisiana

Mississippi

Hurricane Katrina Information | Employment and Unemployment Data Collection and Estimation

Last Modified Date: October 7, 2005

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