Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 02:32 am est

Unemployment in New York City dips to five-year low

Posted on March 12, 2014 | by Andrew Spohn

Felipe De La Hoz/WSN

According to the latest statistics released at the end of last week, unemployment in New York City has dropped below 8 percent for the first time since 2009. The rate now stands at 7.8 percent, the result of a long decline over the last few years.

James Brown, the principal economist in the Division of Research & Statistics at the New York State Department of Labor, said the leading cause for the decrease in the unemployment rate is job growth over the past few years.

“Nationally, there was also the factor of a shrinking labor force, but in fact, New York City’s labor force active in the job market has been growing,” Brown said.

The job growth in the city is spread throughout many sectors. Brown said the strongest growth is in health care and home services. Professional and business services — such as lawyers, engineers, accountants, and architects — are also seeing positive job growth.

Politics professor Lawrence Mead said the public needs to be aware of unemployment politics when analyzing recent figures.

“The politics of unemployment causes politicians to view the unemployed as not being able to get a job,” Mead said “Many of these people could easily get jobs, say at McDonalds, but they are being more selective in wages.”

Brown said the latest numbers do not provide information on how college graduates are faring in 2014, but according to recent trends, opportunity is dependent on the field of study of a graduating student. Despite being hit hard by the economic recession of 2008, young graduates are being hired in the computer industry and the public relations field, while graduates breaking into other sectors face a tougher job market.

“One area that is not doing particularly well is the finance sector, which is usually the leader in up-turns,” he said. “So if you’re coming out looking for a finance job, you’re going to find it harder than in some other areas.”

Both Brown and Mead said educated people are more employable, and Mead also said the average NYU graduate is employable.

Poly senior Andy Yeung said he is confident in applying for engineering jobs in the city.

“The Polytechnic School of Engineering did not prepare me to become an engineer to make money in [the] future,” Yeung said. “It provided an environment for me to learn problem solving, allowing me to choose the jobs I want … when I graduate.”

Brown said the decrease in unemployment rates looks promising for the future.

“The rate should continue to drop since the market has been adding jobs at 2 to 2.5 percent rate and the supply of labor is only growing at about 1 percent,” Brown said. “So, unless the national or local economy dramatically U-turns in the next few months, the unemployment rate should continue to trend downward.”

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, March 12 print edition. Andrew Spohn is a staff writer. Email him at 


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.