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“Cryptocurrency” hit the cultural mainstream in 2018. In March, Merriam-Webster added “cryptocurrency” to the dictionary, and in what was perhaps a greater litmus test of pop culture recognition, “bitcoin” was added to the official Scrabble dictionary in September. With such a surge in interest, it’s not too surprising that the most viewed post on Liberty Street Economics this past year focused on an issue surrounding how digital currencies operate that is not often put in the spotlight—trust. Similarly, as the subject of tariffs has become a more frequent topic of discussion in the news, readers have sought additional info, which fueled interest in another of our most viewed posts of the year. As 2019 approaches, we offer a chance to revisit these posts and the rest of our top five of 2018.
Jaison R. Abel, Jason Bram, Richard Deitz, and Jonathan Hastings
At today’s economic press briefing, we examined labor market conditions across our District, which includes New York State, Northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As has been true throughout the expansion, New York City remains an engine of job growth, while employment gains have been more moderate in Northern New Jersey and fairly sluggish across most of upstate New York. Nonetheless, it has become more difficult for firms to find workers throughout the New York-Northern New Jersey region. It may not be terribly surprising that labor markets have tightened in and around New York City, where job growth has been strong, but labor markets have also tightened in upstate New York, even in places where there has been little or no job growth. This is because labor markets are tightening as a result of changes in both labor demand and labor supply. In upstate New York, a decline in the labor force has reduced the pool of available workers. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still recovering from the destructive hurricanes last year. As these island economies continue to rebuild, employment has edged up in Puerto Rico and stabilized in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The state of the New York City subway system has worsened considerably over the past few years. As a consequence of rising ridership and decaying infrastructure, the network is plagued by delays and frequently fails to deliver New Yorkers to their destinations on time. While these delays are a headache for anyone who depends on the subway to get around, they do not affect all riders in the same way. In this post, we explain why subway delays disproportionately affect low-income New Yorkers. We show that wealthier commuters who rely on the subway are less likely to experience extensive issues on their commutes.
The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center left a deep scar on New York City and the nation, most particularly in terms of the human toll. In addition to the lives lost and widespread health problems suffered by many others—in particular by first responders and recovery workers—the destruction of billions of dollars’ worth of property and infrastructure led to severe disruptions to the local economy. Nowhere were these disruptions more severe and long-lasting than in the neighborhoods closest to Ground Zero.
Ever since the first census of the U.S. population was taken, back in 1790, New York City has been the nation’s largest city, and for most of this time by a factor of more than two. But how has the city—in particular, the city’s boundaries—evolved over time?
On October 29, superstorm Sandy hit the tri-state area, flooding streets, highways, tunnels, buildings, and homes, and crippling the region’s public transit system. At least ninety-four people in New York and New Jersey were killed. Downed power lines and damaged transformers plunged downtown Manhattan and coastal areas into days and weeks of darkness. The damage is still being assessed, but costs are sure to be in the tens of billions. Schools were no exception to this devastation, both in infrastructural damage and in disruptions to students’ education. The storm shut down all 1,750 New York City public schools for a full week, and many remained closed, damaged, or were relocated in the following week. A few schools will not return to their normal locations until 2013. In this post, we analyze the impact of Sandy on New York City schools and assess how the storm might affect students’ educational outcomes.
The August Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators (CEIs) for New York State, New
York City, and New Jersey, released today, give a mixed picture of current economic
performance across the region. Economic activity in August expanded at a robust
pace in New York City while activity in New York State and New Jersey grew at a
more modest pace, continuing the pattern seen since the spring.
Unlike much of the nation, New York City has seen a robust rebound in employment since the recession. In early 2012, employment here reached 3.86 million, the largest number of jobs ever recorded. Yet the city’s unemployment rate has risen in recent months and is now 10 percent—its peak during the recession—and well above the 5 percent rate seen before the downturn. This lack of improvement reflects the fact that the number of employed residents of the city has not rebounded at all from its losses during the 2008-09 downturn. While commuters from outside the city have always been a part of the employment scene, particularly in Manhattan, the recent divergence between the brisk growth in jobs in the city and the lack of growth in the number of employed residents in the city is unprecedented. Moreover, this gap between the two measures continues to widen, raising some questions as to how strong New York City’s recovery actually is. In this post, we explore several alternative explanations for the lack of growth in the employment of city residents in the face of a sharp recovery and expansion of jobs. While there are several potential explanations, the stagnation of resident employment remains largely a puzzle.
Has Wall Street—the term for the securities industry that symbolizes New York City’s role as a global financial center—become less of a specialty for the city? In this post, we show that while the securities industry continues to play an outsized role in the New York City economy, the city’s job base has become somewhat more diversified since 1990. Diversification can be beneficial, as it makes a local economy less vulnerable to adverse shocks to its key industry. A recent example appears in a post by Bram and Orr showing that with Wall Street in a bit of a slump, nonfinancial industries have picked up the slack and are leading the city’s employment recovery this time around.
The January Indexes of Coincident Economic Indicators (CEIs) for New York State, New York City, and New Jersey, released today, show fairly robust economic growth entering 2012. Importantly, this month’s release incorporates the annual benchmark employment revisions for 2010 and 2011, with the revised indexes revealing that the regional economy had more momentum in the second half of 2011 than previously thought.
Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.
The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.
The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.
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