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February 16, 2010



DiNapoli Report Shows Disparity in Unemployment Rates

African American, Hispanic Workers Hit Much Harder by Recession Job Losses

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released a report indicating the recent recession has driven the unemployment rates of African American and Hispanic workers to 14.8 percent and 13 percent, respectively, while other workers have experienced an unemployment rate of approximately 7 percent. The report notes that between December 2007 and December 2009, the unemployment rate in New York nearly doubled, from 4.6 percent to 9 percent.

“This has not been an equal opportunity recession,” DiNapoli said. “All New Yorkers have felt the weight of the recession, but it’s clear that some groups have been hit much harder by unemployment. And the data underscore the importance of education. The unemployment rate for workers without a high school diploma is 15.5 percent while the rate for workers with college degrees is approximately 6 percent.”

The DiNapoli report illustrates a gender gap regarding unemployment during the study period of December 2007 through December 2009. The unemployment rate for men (4.9 percent) and women (4.4 percent) were similar in December 2007. However, by December 2009, the unemployment rate for men had doubled to 9.8 percent – more than two full percentage points higher than the rate for women (7.7 percent).

According to the report, New York State lost 291,900 jobs from a peak in July 2008 through December 2009, a decline of 3.3 percent. Excluding educational and health services sectors, which added jobs, the workforce declined by 347,000 jobs, a loss of 4.8 percent.

The DiNapoli report also found:

  • Professional and business services (e.g., legal, accounting, and employment services) lost 68,300 jobs – more than any other employment sector – a decline of 5.9 percent.
  • Manufacturing lost 54,000 jobs, a decline of 10.1 percent of the jobs in that sector.
  • The financial services sector lost 44,200 jobs, a decline of 6.1 percent.
  • The construction sector was hit hardest by the recession, losing 42,300 jobs, representing 11.6 percent of the jobs in the sector.
  • The leisure and hospitality sector lost 16,400 jobs during this period, a decline of 2.3 percent.

Click here for a copy of the report.

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