The BP Oil Spill and Municipal Bonds

It couldn’t come at a worse time.  The 53 Gulf Coast counties in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas look forward to peak summer months when tourists flock to beach resorts, casinos and summer homes.  This year the tourists are staying away.  Revenues related to tourist spending and waterfront development projects are likely to drop.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics just issued a report detailing the concentration of jobs related to the hospitality and leisure industries.  Of interest, the Mississippi coastline stood out with a 22% concentration of jobs in these industries compared with 14.8% in Gulf Coast Florida and 12.8% nationally (percent of private sector jobs).  In terms of the number of jobs, Pinellas, Lee, Sarasota and Collier counties in Florida; Harrison, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; Jefferson and Orleans parishes in Louisiana stand out.   BLS calculated a second indicator of concentration, a “location quotient” which measures the multiple over the national average employment concentration in these industries.  We draw your attention to this valuable report to assess the bonds in your portfolio.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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