12/12/07 Jesse Jackson Leads Wall Street Rally on Growing Subprime Crisis, City Hall. Leading a group of 200 leaders of nonprofits concerned with issues of poverty and race and other supporters, Jesse Jackson welcomed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to a rally about the growing subprime loan crisis. As a representative of the NAACP said – “When the American economy catches cold, African-Americans catch the flu.” 12/06/07
MTA to Get Line Managers to Compete. NY Times. Each line will have a manager in charge (up to 24 managers) and their performance will be measured. What an idea! 12/05/07. Nonprofit Created to Handle NYC Foreclosure Problems, Crain’s NY. The Center for NYC Neighborhoods will advocate for and reach out to individuals affected by foreclosure and will offer legal aid, counseling andloan remediation. 12/05/07 NYC Starts Emergency Direct Contact Program, NY Times. A trial version of a Mayor-to-cellphone emergency broadcast warning system is under way in Community Board 1 and three other areas. The reason for the six-month trial is that cellphone-system providers may not be able to handle the volume of outgoing text emails. The City expects 100,000 users on the trial, for an average setup cost of about $7 per user. Comment: Why not plan from the beginning to stagger email broadcasts, with flights every 2 seconds or whatever is the optimum interval to avoid overlap? The volume might not be a problem now, but New Yorkers have so many phones the volume could soon get to multi-millions of calls. 12/03/07 NYC Congestion Plan Northern Borden Moving Down to 60th Street, Crains NY. The Traffic Mitigation Committee seems to have been listening to input from those who testified on the congestion plan. NOVEMBER 11/30/07 Apple's Hire Power: Job Growth Best in the Country, NY Post. BLS data for October released 11/17 and 11/28 show NYC added 57,000 (compared with October 2006) or 1.5 percent, ahead of the national average job growth of 1.2 percent. (But "best in the country" is justified only because NYC is big so a 1.5 percent addition is big, and the chart attached to the story is incorrectly labeled.) A major source of new jobs is business and professional services, which added 14,700 jobs. Within that sector, advertising jobs grew 7.7 percent - with Internet advertising more than making up for the losses in print advertising. Another interesting area is construction, which grew 5.4 percent, the largest increase since February 2001, during a period when national construction jobs fell 1.1 percent. The financial sector grew by13,000 jobs - but this number may falter in November. 11/29/07 Foreclosures Soar in Two Boroughs, NY Post. Compared with October 2006, foreclosures in October 2007 rose 170 percent in Queens and 50 percent in Brooklyn. 11/27/07 Immigrants Account for 37 Percent of NYC Payroll, 22 Percent of NYS Economy, Metro NY. A report from the Fiscal Policy Institute hammers away at data showing that immigrants contribute at least as much to the economy as other residents. An immigrant is defined in the report as someone born in another country. This underreported analysis gives a good picture of the occupational and geographic distribution of immigrants in NY State. 11/20/07 Traffic Mitigation Testimony Constructive, Environmental Defense. A majority of witnesses before the Traffic Mitigation Commission offered construcive suggestions for improving the traffic congestion/mitigation plan. 11/20/07 BLS data show NY State in October had the fourth-largest over-the-month increase in employment. The state added 8,100 jobs, continuing a year of growth. States that added more jobs were Texas, Florida and North Carolina. At the same time, NY State’s unemployment rate also grew by 0.4 of a percentage point, from 4.2 percent to 4.6 percent, suggesting that with the job situation improving, more people were looking for work. 11/17/07. NYC Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.3 Percent. New York City’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in October, an increase from 5.1 percent in September 2007. NYC's unemployment rate is well above NY State’s 4.6 percent rate, unchanged from September. With NYC inflation at 3.1 percent, its misery index (inflation + unemployment) is a relatively low 8.4 percent, just 0.1 percentage point higher than the nation. 11/16/07 Bids Come in for NYC Congestion Pricing Implementation, Streetsblog. The 30 bids, in response to an IBM-managed RFP, indicate a high level of vendor interest in the business. 11/15/07 NYC Area Inflation in October Was 3.1 Percent YOY. Compared with October 2006, the New York City area consumer price index (cost of living) rose 3.1 percent in October. The month-to-month number is not seasonally adjusted. The year-over-year rate is computed differently from the national inflation rate, which is seasonally adjusted. 10/15/07 Clean Buildings in NYC, Gotham Gazette. The biggest source of air pollution in NYC and other cities is not cars or people, it is buildings. New York, London and other cities are pursuing some good ideas. 11/07/07 NYC Less Vulnerable to Oil Price Spike, Crain's NY. 11/04/07 Foreign Buyers Take Manhattan, NY Times. NYC housing and mortgage weaknesses showing up first in condos, which don’t require as much credit history as co-ops, nor do they require that the apartment be the buyer’s primary residence. Foreigners are looking at Manhattan in part because prices have fallen so much elsewhere, especially Florida. Given that the dollar now seems cheap to foreign buyers, they are less likely to consider renting. Manhattan is attractive in part because it is known overseas from books, television and movies. 10/31/07 Tighten Belts, Bloomberg Tells Officials, Diane Cardwell, NY Times. 10/31/07 City Agencies Face Hiring Freeze, Budget Cuts, Crain's NY Business. Mayor Bloomberg is freezing hires and cutting the budget 2.5 percent. This is the right thing to do, i.e., react to bad news immediately. In the long run, it reduces the pain because adjustments must be greater if postponed. 10/30/07 NYC Commuters Pay Highest Share of Transit Costs among Large U.S. Cities, Straphangers, Daily News 10/29/07 City Council To Oppose Any Midyear Budget Cuts, Grace Rauh, NY Sun. 10/25/07 City’s Pension Fund Soared, Jill Gardiner, NY Sun. 10/23/07 Personal Bankruptcies in NYC Soared in Past Year, Crain’s NY.