Layoff of Half of New Orleans City Employees

Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that about half of the city’s workforce will be laid off owing to Hurricane Katrina.

Major of New Orleans Announces Layoffs (AP)

Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees — or about half the city’s workforce — because of the damage done to New Orleans’ finances by Hurricane Katrina. Nagin announced with “great sadness” that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll.

Meanwhile, former President Clinton met with dozens of New Orleans-area evacuees staying at a shelter in Baton Rouge’s convention center. And officials ended their door-to-door sweep for corpses in Louisiana with the death toll Tuesday at 972 — far fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had feared at one point. Mississippi’s Katrina death toll was 221.

A company hired by the state to remove bodies will remain on call if any others are found.

A shame indeed that the workers are being laid off amidst the devastation, given that the infrastructure is at its worst stage in memory. Oddly, given the boatloads of federal money coming in for the relief effort, one would think there would be little problem making payroll.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Mike says:

    Ahh, with all the hands held out palm side up, I – after living in the ‘Sportsman’s Paradise’ for years – am not surprised that there is not enough money left over to meet payroll. Nor am I surprised that banks, who tend to want their money back, are not interested in floating the payroll.

  2. Lee says:

    Won’t be too bad if they lay off the half of city payroll that doesn’t exist.

  3. Steve Verdon says:


    You have forgotten how utterly corrupt New Orleans is.