More than 4,000 workers at steel mills in the United States have been temporarily laid off as part of the massive cleanup operation.
The damage, which will take weeks to complete, is expected to cost up to $200bn.
The steel industry employs more than 25 million people.
But as of Thursday the number of workers at a number of US steel mills had fallen to 2,922, or nearly three-quarters of the workforce.
This is despite the fact that the US has a reputation for producing some of the most robust steel products in the world.
This has prompted some analysts to argue that the industry is being forced to pay a heavy price for a quake that occurred just before Christmas.
The US economy has been struggling for years.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year to February 2018 the US economy shrank by 0.3 per cent, the fastest rate since 2007.
US factories have also seen their output fall by around 5 per cent.
But experts have argued that the recession and the slow recovery will force some companies to cut back their production, while others will continue to produce, particularly in the steel sector.
The number of American steel workers has fallen to just over 2,000, down from a peak of over 4,200 in 2008.
This means that in a year where the economy has contracted by 0,2 per cent the steel industry will be left with only a fraction of its pre-crisis output.
As a result, analysts say the overall impact on the US’s steel industry could be even greater.
Steel workers are expected to be among the hardest hit in the wake of the earthquake.
Some companies have already decided to cut production to reduce costs, and the number has been expected to rise further in the coming weeks.
But some analysts believe that many companies will still not be able to absorb the loss, and some companies have also decided to keep on producing.
“This is going to be a really hard blow to the industry, and it will be a lot of pressure for them to cut their output to keep up with demand,” says Richard Janson, a research fellow at the National Economic Research Associates Institute.
“It’s not clear that they’re going to have much choice.”
But as steel production continues to fall the number and type of workers affected by the quake is expected grow.
“If you look at the actual number of steel workers who were affected, it’s probably not going to make a big difference,” says Peter Weigle, director of the American Institute of Steel Workers union.
“The steelworkers who are actually affected will not have been affected by it, they’re not in the building and they’ll not be out on the streets for months,” he says.
Weigles fears that the steel workers will continue working at their jobs even though they may be unable to get back to work.
The American Institute for Steel Workers has called on President Donald Trump to ensure that the country is “a place where steelworkers can recover”.
“We are not going back to where we were before the earthquake,” he said.