GOVERNOR PATERSON ORDERS IMMEDIATE ACTION ON BEHALF OF WORKERS IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY
Governor David A. Paterson has directed the New York State Labor Department to take immediate action by reaching out to affected workers on Wall Street. The Labor Department will dispatch its rapid response specialists to assist displaced workers in New York City's financial industry. These rapid response sessions will provide workers with basic information on how to file an unemployment claim, possible training opportunities, labor market information, and workshops covering everything from resume writing to interviewing skills.
Upon the request of Governor Paterson, commissioners from both the New York State Department of Labor and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development met this morning to discuss how both agencies can best devote joint resources and staff to assist the industry's displaced workers.
"These are unparalleled circumstances that workers in New York's financial industry are facing, and they need to know that government is here to help in every way we can," said Governor Paterson. "Wall Street's continuing problems should serve as a stark reminder that this recession is far from over, and clearly there is significant work to be done to help our state economy and, more importantly, the residents of New York weather this financial crisis."
Approximately 11,000 jobs were lost in New York's finance and insurance sectors between July 2007 and July 2008. More recent data will likely show this number continues to grow and based on past data, approximately 40,000 jobs in the financial services industry in the New York City area can be expected to be lost in the current downturn. All told, approximately 120,000 jobs may ultimately be directly and indirectly affected as a result of financial sector turmoil.
Additionally, the New York State Labor Department is leading the coordination of a Federal Reserve-Bank of New York Mellon hosted tri-state initiative which will examine the impact of financial sector turmoil in New York. This initiative will focus on job loss in the financial services and related industry sectors, in addition to the spillover effects on other employment that is indirectly supported by those jobs.
New York State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said: "We are acting right now on behalf of workers to help them get back on their feet so they can continue to contribute to our city and state's economy. This unprecedented collaboration between New York and New Jersey will begin immediately, and won't end until this crisis is over."
New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow said: "Governor Corzine and I know that many Lehman Brothers workers commute to or from New Jersey. By working together with the New York Labor Department we can provide a comprehensive approach to reaching the workers and guiding them to the right services no matter where they live or where they worked."
The Labor Department will reach out to Wall Street investment companies and offer resources for their current and former employees, including meetings with human resources to collect information on worker skills. The Labor Department will then contact area employers who may be interested in recruiting these workers.
According to the State Labor Department, over the long term, the securities and commodities industry is an economic driver for New York City, with employment and wages growing far faster than the overall economy. In 2007, Wall Street accounted for 185,700 jobs; 5.8 percent of New York City's private sector employment and 28 percent of private sector wages.
Source: New York Governor's Office
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