State of Working New York 2002: A Weakened Economy

September 1, 2002:  This report provides the latest data on how New York state’s workers and their families are faring during the current recession. It also examines the progress made during the period of economic expansion that New York enjoyed before the current recession hit our state at the beginning of 2001, compares New York’s situation with other states and with the nation as a whole; and, examines variations within New York State.

This Labor Day, New York’s workers face an economy weakened by the combined effects of the national recession and the economic devastation wrought by the attack last September on the World Trade Center. The state has lost 132,000 jobs (-1.5%) since the peak level reached in December 2000. The national recession began in March of 2001. Most of the state’s job loss has been concentrated in New York City, the area most directly affected by the September 11th attack. Unemployment has risen and thousands of people are exhausting their unemployment benefits each week.

In the latter part of the late 1990s expansion in New York, prior to the onset of the economic slowdown, the state’s job growth record had improved. But, as this report and the new edition of the Economic Policy Institute’s The State of Working America 2002-03, show, by many indicators of economic well-being, the late 1990s economic expansion was not sufficient to significantly improve the living standards of many New York workers and their families. Moreover, many indicators show that New Yorkers generally did not fare as well as workers and their families in the rest of the nation.