BLS On Southern California Quake Impact

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault could have wide-ranging effects on businesses, jobs and payrolls in the Southern California area, according to a new analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Hat tip to the Insurance Information Network of California (IINC) for tweeting this story.

The BLS notes that the southern section of the San Andreas fault has not ruptured for more than 300 years, although evidence indicates that a large earthquake has occurred on the fault every 150 years, on average.

The ShakeOut Scenario simulated a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault, and the program’s scientists determined this hypothetical earthquake would create very strong to severe shaking and moderate to heavy damage across seven southern California counties.

The seven southern California counties (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) that would be most affected by the earthquake are home to 621,000 business establishments, 6.3 million employees, and an annual payroll of $303.3 billion, according to the BLS.

It adds:

“The potential economic consequences to employers and workers in southern California are widespread and are likely to have an effect on the state economy and, in turn, the national economy because of the far-reaching economic ties between firms and industries in California and beyond.†

As cited by the BLS, a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Southern California would cause about $213 billion in direct and indirect economic losses.

Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on earthquakes and tsunamis.