New York City Job Losses Creep Beyond Wall Street
The layoffs in New York are following a traditional recessionary pattern by radiating out from the big financial companies to other professional services and to lower-paying businesses like
retailing, according to the report, which uses the latest data available from the state’s Labor Department.
In October, 6,428 people who had worked in professional, technical and scientific services were receiving unemployment benefits, up 42 percent from October 2007. That total — which includes the fields of law, accounting, consulting and engineering — exceeded the 5,935 people from the finance and insurance industries who were receiving benefits, the report showed.
The number of blue-collar beneficiaries was up 50 percent, driven mainly by a jump in laid-off construction workers.
Among those collecting benefits in the city, the smallest increases have come in management and from the fields of health care and social services and arts, entertainment and recreation, the report found. Health care and businesses that benefit from tourism have helped to bolster the city’s economy as the financial crisis has worsened.
But with the dollar strengthening against other currencies and foreign economies faltering, tourism has already begun to decline, threatening employment in that sector.
Not every unemployed person has a tale of woe. Lynne Figman, a real estate lawyer, said that she was given only about five minutes to clean out her desk at Phillips Nizer when she was laid off on Nov. 5. Her boss said he was letting her go because the firm expected its real estate practice to plummet next year, she said.
But Ms. Figman, who is receiving unemployment benefits now, has already begun setting up her own practice from her Upper West Side apartment and expects to have a healthy list of small businesses and homeowners as clients. On Sunday, she turns 50.
“I’m still going through with the plan to party,” Ms. Figman said. “My parents insist.”
Christine Haughney contributed reporting.