During the second quarter of 2011, the recovery continued at a slow pace throughout the region. Economic activity expanded in New York State and New York City, held steady in New Jersey and declined slightly in Puerto Rico. Employment growth in the region, while sluggish, outpaced that of the nation. Unemployment rates edged up in most places within the region and remain high.
Regional housing markets, meanwhile, appeared to be firming during the second quarter, but remain fragile. Home prices in New York State, New York City and New Jersey increased modestly during the second quarter, compared to the ongoing decline experienced in the nation overall. Pockets of stress remain in the region, however, especially in and around New York City where delinquency rates remain elevated.
"The economic recovery in our region continued at a slow pace during the second quarter of 2011, with much of the region performing reasonably well compared with the nation as a whole," said William C. Dudley, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Also, despite weak labor market conditions overall, some sectors are enjoying robust growth in the region. In particular, the professional and business services and education and health sectors have continued to add jobs."
In the wake of the recent recession, the Second Federal Reserve District's labor market is showing the results of churning as some industries shrink, old jobs are refilled and new jobs are created. This pattern is helping shape the current and future industrial mix and demand for employee skills in the region.
Despite slow overall regional job growth, some areas of the economy are expanding and adding jobs. Recent regional job creation has been almost evenly balanced between restoring jobs lost during the recession and creating new jobs that will help transform the economy. New job growth has tended to be in high-skill sectors (including health care and education), as measured by college degrees. Meanwhile, firms in administrative support and professional services have been rehiring employees. These sectors are likely to add back employees who once occupied similar positions with similar skill sets. Finally, jobs in construction and manufacturing have been shrinking, both during the recession and recovery. These sectors were hit particularly hard during the recession and have yet to start rehiring. As a result, past employees in these sectors may have to learn new skills or otherwise find jobs in different industries.
For additional analysis and data presented during the briefing, visit: Regional Economic Briefing on Job Creation in the Region.
About the New York Fed's Quarterly Regional Economic Press Briefing Series
Media who cover the Federal Reserve's Second District—which includes New York, northern New Jersey, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico—are invited each quarter to attend a briefing by New York Fed regional research economists on a variety of subjects relevant to the regional economy. The next briefing is expected to take place in the fall.