Hurricane Matthew is approaching the southeast coast of the United States, and could hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. The most immediate priority is for physical safety, and we encourage all individuals in the storm’s path to prepare to protect themselves and their families. Significant storms like this can have long-lasting economic impacts as well. At the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’ve compiled data for the flood zones potentially affected by this storm. These data, available at the state and county level, come from our Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which uses more than 9 million quarterly reports submitted by U.S. employers, and flood zone maps from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With these data, we can see that in Florida, for example, within the storm’s potential flood zone there are more than 127,000 business establishments, employing more than 1.4 million people. Having information on the employment and establishments in a storm’s path can help professionals understand the storm’s potential economic impact and prepare for emergency response.
David Hiles is an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.