June 20, 2007
In the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Katrina caused the most extensive job losses in two large parishes in Louisiana—Jefferson and Orleans—and one large county in Mississippi—Harrison.
Among those three areas, the recovery of jobs has been weakest in Orleans Parish, where August employment was down by 88,300 between 2005 and 2006. As of August 2006, employment had recovered to only 63 percent of its pre-Katrina level.
As a result, by October 2005, Jefferson replaced Orleans as Louisiana’s largest coastal parish in terms of employment and became the second largest parish in the state in terms of employment. In August 2005, the level of employment in Jefferson Parish was only 89 percent of the level in Orleans. A year later, employment in Jefferson was 28 percent greater than in Orleans.
August 2006 employment recovered to 91 percent of the pre-Katrina level in Jefferson Parish and to 90 percent in Harrison County.
The BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program produced these data; the data for months in 2006 are preliminary and subject to revision. Employment data presented here are for all workers covered by State and Federal unemployment insurance programs. Large counties or parishes refer to those with employment levels of 75,000 or more in 2005. Find out more in "Recovery After Hurricane Katrina: Employment in the Gulf Coast Area," (PDF) Issues in Labor Statistics, BLS Summary 07-01.