Wall Street has a long reach, influencing everyone and everything from affordable housing tactics to the financial health of cities that are 3,000 miles away, but new employment numbers downgrade the money icon’s power in its own hometown.
While New York City has experienced remarkable job growth in the last five years, more than in any five-year period in the past 50 years. According to the New York Times, city officials and economists are pleased that the news comes with no thanks to Wall Street:
During the boom years of the 1990s, the high-paying securities industry accounted for more than 10 percent of all of the jobs added in the city’s private sector. This time around, it has contributed less than 1 percent. …
Financiers are not throwing themselves $3 million birthday parties on Park Avenue, as Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chairman of the Blackstone Group, did. “It isn’t that kind of boom,” said Ronnie Lowenstein, director of the city’s Independent Budget Office. “It isn’t ‘Bonfire of the Vanities.’ It’s a wide variety of firms in different industries that are contributing to a more diversified job growth.”
Since the end of 2009, New York has added 425,000 jobs. The city can thank Internet companies like Google, Facebook and BuzzFeed for the good news. The hospitality industry has also added many jobs.
New York’s unemployment rate has seen great improvement over the past two years, and dropped 2.7 percentage points to 6.3 percent. But it’s still above the national rate of 5.7 percent.
“We’re in a very significant, pretty long-lasting jobs recovery, but for many people it just doesn’t feel that way,” economist Mark Zandi told the Times. “We’re still not at full employment, even in New York City. That keeps a lid on wages.”
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.