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May 30, 2012


DiNapoli: Uneven Economic Recovery Continues

NY Regained Most of the Jobs Lost in the Recession, but Unemployment Is Rising

New York added more than 312,000 jobs in the past two years, nearly 95 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. Still, some regions continue to struggle and the unemployment rate in New York is rising again, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"New York's economy is slowly recovering, but challenges remain, including the European debt crisis and deficit cutting decisions in Washington," DiNapoli said. "The national economy also appears to be slowing, which could impact New York's recovery. We are not out of the woods yet."

New York City, which accounts for 44 percent of the jobs in New York State, gained 181,000 jobs since the recession, almost 41,000 more than it lost. Rochester regained 15,900 of the 19,000 jobs it lost.

While New York City's suburbs have reported moderate gains, several upstate cities have regained only a portion of the jobs lost during the recession, and some have continued to lose jobs. For example, Syracuse has regained just 6,900 of the 13,700 jobs it lost during the recession while Buffalo has regained 11,900 of the 21,000 jobs lost. Additionally, many of the jobs added during the recovery were in industries that pay less, on average, than those lost during the recession.

The unemployment rate in New York is still below its recessionary peak, but the rate has risen over the past year as more people have reentered the labor market and it now exceeds the national rate. In April 2012, New York's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, compared to 8 percent a year earlier and the recessionary peak of 8.9 percent. Eight counties, such as Jefferson, Fulton and the Bronx, suffer from double-digit unemployment rates.

The securities industry, one of the state's major economic engines, continues to face uncertainties. The industry reported large losses in the second half of 2011 (the first quarterly losses since the financial crisis), which contributed to an estimated 14 percent decline in cash bonuses and renewed job losses.

New York's Gross State Product (GSP) rebounded strongly after the recession, exceeding the nationwide increase and ranking second among the 50 states in both 2010 and 2011. While the state's growth rate eased to an estimated 3.8 percent in 2011, IHS Global Insight forecasts the rate will slow to 2.6 percent this year.

The report also notes:

  • Consumer confidence fell slightly in April 2012 as a result of higher gasoline prices. Despite the easing, consumer confidence has recovered more than half of the decline experienced during the recession.
  • The private sector has created more jobs since the end of the recession (335,900) than were lost during the recession (311,100). Partially offsetting these gains has been the loss of 23,200 government jobs.
  • Educational and health services was the only sector to add jobs during the recession (50,500), and it continued to add jobs during the recovery (81,300). The business services sector has added more jobs than any other sector (103,600 jobs) and employment in this sector now exceeds the prerecession level.
  • In April 2012, the unemployment rate exceeded the statewide rate in more than half of New York's counties (33 of 62), including eight counties in which the rate was 10 percent or greater.
  • The securities industry in New York City recovered only 41 percent of the 28,100 jobs lost during the financial crisis before the industry began losing jobs again, shedding 1,400 since October 2011.
  • New York City and Glens Falls have added more jobs during the recovery than they lost during the recession, but the state's other 12 metropolitan areas regained less than the statewide share. Although Rochester has had strong job growth, Long Island, Albany and Binghamton each recovered less than half of their job losses from the recession, and Elmira and Ithaca have continued to lose jobs.
  • In April 2012, 45 percent of the unemployed (345,000 state residents) were without a job for at least six months.

A copy of the complete report can be found at:



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