Bloomberg News

New York Jobs Gained Since 2008 Mostly Offer Low Pay, Study Says

December 01, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- New York City and state job growth since mid-2008 has occurred mainly in industries such as tourism, where average annual wages are less than $45,000, the Fiscal Policy Institute said in a study.

Industries paying low salaries have added 82,000 jobs statewide, led by restaurants, educational consulting services, and at-home health-care services, the nonprofit research group said in the report released today. The Albany-based institute receives funds from private foundations and labor unions.

Since mid-2008, when the report says the recession began in New York, the state has lost more than 250,000 middle- and high- wage jobs in areas such as manufacturing, construction, government and finance, according to the institute. In the city, 121,000 high-paying jobs vanished, it said. The longest U.S. slump since World War II started in December 2007 and lasted 18 months to June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Combined, the recession and the weak economic recovery that followed may have cost the state as much as $31 billion in annual earnings, according to the report. Among the losses it counted were 504,000 jobs, including about 96,000 that were never created because of missed small-business opportunities as unemployment curbed consumer spending.

Growing Industry

This month, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the city’s hotel-room inventory would reach a record 90,000 by year’s end, up 24 percent since 2006. Travel and tourism industries employ 323,000 people in the city, which Bloomberg said has helped to offset jobs lost during the downturn, including among manufacturers.

“Our growing tourism industry is one of the big reasons why New York City entered the recession later and emerged from it sooner than the rest of America,” Bloomberg said at a Nov. 14 news briefing in Long Island City, Queens, where he dedicated a new hotel.

The institute’s report based its calculations on a hypothetical formula that assumed an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, the state average for 2007. The state’s October unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent from 8 percent in September. In the city, it rose to 8.8 percent from 8.7 percent.

Poverty rates in upstate cities ranged from 28 percent of Albany residents to 30 percent in Buffalo and 34 percent in Rochester and Syracuse last year, according to the report. The proportion of children living in poor households in New York City reached 30 percent in 2010, and was 43 percent in Albany and 51 percent in Rochester.

“These figures underscore just how costly the recession and weak recovery are for New York workers and their families,” James Parrott, the institute’s Manhattan-based chief economist, said in a statement that accompanied the report.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

--Editors: Ted Bunker, Mark Tannenbaum.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net


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