The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster devastated the economy of West-Central and Southwest Florida according to a knew study by a former Obama Administration economist. Joseph Aldy, now a professor at Harvard, released his findings yesterday in a paper titled “Labor Market Impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Off shore Drilling Momentum.”
While Aldy opines that the spill may have temporarily increased employment opportunities and wages in the areas physically impacted by oil (LA, AL – due to demand for clean-up workers), the Florida Gulf Coast, particularly south of the Panhandle, experienced massive job losses. This despite the fact that the area endured very little physical oiling (and hence no clean-up demand).
Aldy’s analysis shows a net increase of approximately 6,000 jobs in oiled areas and a net decrease of 50,000 jobs along the Florida Gulf Coast, south of the Panhandle.
Of course, just because jobs involving environmental remediation and mitigation were created and may have temporarily benefited the oiled regions, other industries in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Panhandle Florida suffered serious harm. Non-Panhandle Florida simply took the worst of it. While a narrow ribbon of industries may have benefited from the spill, the vast majority did not.