The results of a recent study performed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that a large earthquake in Southern California would cause significant harm to the buildings and the economy in the region.
It said that if the area experienced a quake with a 7.8 magnitude along the San Andreas Fault’s southern portion, there would be millions of employees of hundreds of thousands of businesses in Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, Ventura, Kern, and Los Angeles counties who would be affected. Not included in this research was San Diego County.
Though the report did not investigate the size of the economic damages, there had been a federal report performed in 2008 which predicted that losses at that time would have been much greater than $200 billion. According to a BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, at that time, there were 6.3 million workers at 621,000 businesses, who made a total of $303.3 billion.
If the “big one” should occur, the number of employers who would be affected in the strongest part of the quake would total about 434,000, who have 4.5 million people on their payrolls, for a total of $206.5 billion in yearly wages.
The report indicated that ninety nine percent of the business exposures were located in San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles. Among the types of jobs affected would be 409,000 in educational services, 480,000 in manufacturing, 504,000 in retail, and 522,000 in healthcare.
The report said that “After a disaster, functioning hospitals and medical facilities will be critical.”