Governor Paterson’s Mid-Year Budget Update projects that New York State will lose more than 160,000 jobs during “the current downturn.”   But if history is any guide, that could turn out to be very optimistic.   As illustrated below, the state lost 500,000 private sector jobs in 1990-93, and needed nine years to fully recover to average 1989 employment levels.  Private job losses reached 300,000 during the downturn of 2001-03, and it was six years before employment levels bounced back to the 2000 peak.

jobchart2-9255453

Those previous downturns originated in the financial sector, coinciding with relatively mild national recessions, and their local and regional impacts were exacerbated by significant New York State and New York City tax increases.  But this isn’t just another cyclical (i.e., temporary) downturn.  Quite aside from the challenges posed by a global and national recession, New York’s state and city governments need to reorder priorities and restructure their budgets to reflect the new long-term reality of a leaner, less profitable and more heavily regulated Wall Street.  If state and city officials respond as they did in the early 1990s, the job losses could be more severe and longer-lasting than anything New York has experienced since the Great Depression.


About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

As leaves turn, NY’s post-pandemic recovery still has very far to go

Entering the second autumn since the COVID-19 outbreak of March 2020, the pace of New York State's pandemic economic recovery has been abysmal by almost any standard. New York was the national epicenter of the pandemic, and Governor Cuomo's "" business Read More

More NY job gains in August—but employment needs to rise a lot further

New York's jobs report for August looked relatively strong—but only by comparison, that is, with . On a seasonally adjusted basis, New York gained 28,000 private-sector jobs last month—a growth rate of 0.4 percent, according to . This was double th Read More

New York’s Hospital Industry Ranks Near the Bottom of Two Quality Report Cards

New York's hospitals remain near the bottom of two quality report cards. The state's hospitals received the lowest rate of any state except Nevada and DC. Read More

NY Post-Pandemic Employment Tide Stopped Rising At Year’s End

New York's post-pandemic employment recovery came to a halt and moved into reverse in December, according to the state's for the final month of COVID-wracked 2020. Private payroll employment in December was 966,000 jobs below the level of the previous Read More

As a Supreme Court Ruling Loomed, Cuomo Bent His Own Rules on COVID ‘Clusters’

In the midst of the constitutional showdown over his pandemic policies, Governor Cuomo made changes to a disputed Brooklyn 'cluster zone' that seemed to contradict his own declared guidelines. Read More

Fewer Workers, Not More Jobs, Explains NY’s September Unemployment Rate Drop

New York State's unemployment rate has fallen sharply since the economically devastating pandemic lockdown last spring. But as state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli points out in  his latest economic report, the jobless rate doesn't tell the whole story. Read More

It’s Official: New York State’s Second Quarter Economic Crash Was the Worst on Record

Further evidence of the massive damage done to New York’s economy by the coronavirus pandemic shutdown has emerged in the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data from the federal Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Affairs. Read More

Sluggish Reopening: NY’s Private Job Count Down 1.1 Million From Pre-Pandemic Level

Six months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, New York State's private-sector employment recovery was the slowest in the 48 contiguous states—and getting slower. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!