Author: Jonathan McCarthy and Charles Steindel
This paper explores the connections between broad indicators of economic conditions in the New York Metropolitan area and their national counterparts. Our examination provides two different views of the metropolitan economy. First, as is well known, employment growth in the region over the last seven years has been very poor, both in absolute terms and relative to the nation, suggesting a region in decline. On the other hand, the region's income growth has been considerably better, suggesting a region whose goods and services remain in healthy demand. Some methods of analyzing the data suggest that national and regional variables are more closely connected than they have been in a generation. Notwithstanding this, VAR analysis indicates that regional factors were the initial catalysts for the local recession in the 1990s. However, this analysis also indicates that national developments, in particular the slow growth in employment following the 1990-91 recession, have been important factors behind the persistence of the local recession. This is unlike the experience of the 1970s, when regional factors were primarily responsible for prolonging that recession.