Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New York City's Economic Outlook

How Bad Will NYC's Economy Get? AM New York. "There have been four distinct downturns since the 1970s and the one that seems most similar to this one is the S&L crisis in 1987," said Rae Rosen, assistant vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That meltdown began with the jarring stock market crash in October 1987, and lasted into the early 1990s, spreading from Wall Street to Main Street, and crippling the city's real-estate market. The 1980s meltdown was known as a "white-collar recession," because it broke the trend of economic cycles that used to rise and fall on manufacturing. The pattern today is very much along those lines. The city lost 350,000 jobs during that period, far more than the number predicted to disappear this time. However, in a note of concern, the city's economy is far more reliant today on the fate of Wall Street, where most of the cuts are happening – so far. Wall Street employment makes up about 5 percent of the workforce but about 25 percent of all wages earned; that figure was only 9 percent in the early 90s. Comment by CityEconomist: The October 1987 stock-market crash affected New York City more than the nation, which didn’t go into recession until 1989. The low point for NYC jobs was October 1992 (the month I was first appointed Chief Economist in the Office of the NYC Comptroller in what turned out to be a 13-year stint over five administrations). Using annual data, NYC's economy didn’t turn around until 1993.