On the surface, NYC’s job losses do not bode well

Jobs are inextricably connected to the health of the housing market for reasons that must be obvious.  That’s one reason that Washington, D.C., seems to be recovering from its housing blues.  After all, government dominates in the metropolitan region.

Thus, the news in yesterday’s New York Times about the city’s unemployment rate seems to suggest a grim outlook for the Big Apple.  But a closer look at the statistics may possibly imply otherwise.

In June, the city’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.5 percent,  the newspaper said. The rate of joblessness in the city had not been as high in almost 12 years. In May, it was 8.9 percent, significantly lower than the national rate of 9.4 percent for that month. More than 380,000 people in the city were unable to find work last month, an increase of about 170,000 from a year before, according to data released by the State Department of Labor.

The last time so many city residents were unemployed was in the early 1990s, in the wake of the long, deep recession after the 1987 stock market crash, said James Brown, a Labor Department economist. Continue reading