Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Localized Breakdown of Joblessness in New York City

By Patrick McGeehan

The unemployment rate for all of New York City has risen above 10 percent in recent months, but broken down neighborhood by neighborhood, joblessness ranges from about half that bad to twice as bad, a new study shows.

The situation was worst in East New York, Brooklyn, where the unemployment rate for the third quarter of this year was 19.2 percent, according to the study, which was conducted by the Fiscal Policy Institute. That means that almost one-fifth of the adults living in East New York could not find jobs; it does not account for those unemployed residents who did not seek employment.

At the other end of the range, not surprisingly, were the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan, where, near the depths of the recession last quarter, just 5.1 percent were unemployed. Manhattan’s most populous section, Harlem and Washington Heights, had by far its highest rate of unemployment, at 13.6 percent. In the Bronx, only the southern and central section was worse off, with a rate of 15.7 percent, according to the report.

James Parrott, the chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal research group, said the racial disparities also were striking. In three of the five boroughs — the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan — unemployment among blacks exceeded 15 percent. Hispanic unemployment was 15 percent or higher in five neighborhoods. But white unemployment exceeded 15 percent in only one neighborhood — East New York, where, at 25 percent, it exceeded the rates for blacks and Hispanics.

Click for a graphic representation.

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