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June 10, 2010
Oil Spill Affecting Employment
BP plans to hire 4,500 unemployed workers in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. New hires will be on-call to clean beaches affected by the oil spill. The workers will be responsible for cleaning beaches by physically removing oil and debris with rakes or shovels, or by operating machinery such as front-end loaders or power washers. At the same time, the effect of the oil spill on businesses and organizationsin the region, as well as the temporary ban on deepwater drilling, is expected to cause a loss of jobs much higher than 4,500.

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BP aims to hire at least 1,500 workers in Mississippi, 1,000 in Alabama and 1,600 in Florida.

The oil spill's effect on unemployment. While 4,500 workers are expected to be hired, businesses and organizations invested in the region are expecting much higher numbers of unemployment as a result of the spill.

Currently, there are an estimated 37,000 compensation claims that have been submitted to BP. Of those claims, only 18,000 have been addressed, at least partially. BP has recently announced they plan to address more of the claims this month. Small businesses in particular are having difficulty securing compensation.

The ban on deepwater drilling is also taking a toll on the regional economy. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal projected that his state alone could lose up to 20,000 new and existing jobs in a year's time as a result of the ban. The temporary ban shut down all Gulf wells drilling in more than 500 feet of water. There are also no new permits being issued for new deepwater drilling.

According to the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA), the ban could affect the region negatively in several ways:

  • 80% of the Gulf's oil comes from operations in deepwater
  • 33 floating drilling rigs in the Gulf will be idled as a result of the ban
  • 1,400 jobs are at risk for each of the 33 idled rigs
  • Potential for lost wages for all 33 rigs could reach $330 million per month



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