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Report sees LI job recovery as 2 years away

Participants at a job fair in Uniondale on

Participants at a job fair in Uniondale on June 8. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

It will take another two years for Long Island and the rest of the New York metropolitan region to recoup the more than 385,000 jobs lost during the recession, according to a new report.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors released Monday a study showing the metropolitan region will not return to its pre-recession employment peak until the second quarter of 2013. The 31-county region that includes Nassau and Suffolk counties lost 4.5 percent of its jobs in the 18-month downturn that ended in June 2009.

The 109-page report, from the IHS Global Insight research firm, states the New York area will recover jobs lost in the 2007-09 recession far quicker than many of the country’s 363 cities. Forty-eight metro areas, including Cleveland, Dayton, Detroit, Toledo will not reach pre-recession peak employment until 2020 or beyond. 

“These metros face the economic prospects of a ‘Lost Decade,’ ” the report states. “This group is primarily comprised of metro areas that were greatly impacted by the burst of the housing bubble and areas that rely heavily on manufacturing employment.”

In New York State, Ithaca already recouped its job losses last year while Rochester and the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown region will do so by the middle of next year.
Buffalo is expected to edge out the New York City area by a few months while Syracuse will match it.

Upstate regions such as Albany, Binghamton, Elmira, Glens Falls and Utica will lag behind. Kingston is expected to be the last region to reach its pre-recession employment level – in early 2018.

In an April report for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global Insight found that the economy on Long Island grew at a slower rate last year than it did in every other New York State region save Binghamton. 

The value of residents’ income and all the goods and services produced here rose only 1.1 percent in 2010, a full percentage point below the statewide rate of 2.2 percent. In New York City and its northern suburbs the increase was 2.1 percent.

The Nassau-Suffolk performance was anemic compared with Ithaca, which grew 3.3 percent; the Hudson Valley, 3.1 percent and Buffalo, 2.9 percent.

DiNapoli said at the time that the data showed the state’s recovery from the 2007-09 recession, has been uneven. “Our economic recovery is headed in the right direction, but the road out of the recession is still winding and potentially perilous,” he said.

Long Island’s gross metropolitan product shrank 4.5 percent in 2009, the most of any state region. New York City followed with a 4.4 percent drop.

Analysts in the comptroller's office and local economists said the Nassau/Suffolk region was dealt a heavy blow by the Wall Street meltdown. Many local residents were fired, while others lost income.

Still, the gross product figures were in sharp contrast to those for unemployment, where Long Island performed better than most areas in 2009 and last year.

The jobless rate in Nassau and Suffolk was 7.4 percent last year, compared with 8.6 percent statewide and 9.5 percent in New York City. Eight of 13 regions were above 8 percent.

Photo: Participants at a job fair in Uniondale on June 8.

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