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June 2004, Vol. 127, No. 6
9/11 and the New York City economy: A borough-by-borough analysis
Michael L. Dolfman and Solidelle F.Wasser
T he political, security, and social implications of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, have been well documented. In New York City, the events of that day resulted in the deaths of 2,699 workers from a wide range of occupational backgrounds. Of the 2,198 non-rescue workers killed in the World Trade Center, 78 percent were employed in finance, insurance, and real estate. Firefighters accounted for 81 percent of the 412 fatally injured rescue workers; 15 percent were police officers or detectives. Thirty-six percent of the 89 individuals killed on the airplanes that crashed into the towers were traveling on services-related business.1
The terrorist attack also had a profound impact on the city’s economy, its labor market dynamics, and individual businesses. Just what the immediate and long-term economic effects of the attack were and will be on New York City has been the subject of some debate. This article joins that discussion in its analysis of employment and wage data, on a borough-by-borough basis.
The article focuses on the most salient feature of the current city economy: the bifurcation of its industry into "export" and "local" economic sectors.2 Examining the effect of 9/11 on each of the boroughs makes it possible to isolate the "export" sector, on the one hand, which identifies New York City as a prime center of the global economy, and the "local" sector, on the other, which has its own distinct importance and relation to the city’s industry.
This excerpt is from an article published in the June 2004 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Work Fatalities in the New York-Northern New Jersey Area and New York City in 2001 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York Information Office, 2002), press release.
2 The concept of "export" and "local" economic sectors is noted in Masahisa Fujita, Paul Krugman, and Anthony J. Venables, The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade (Cambridge, MA, MIT Press, 1999); see especially p. 27. The concept is described in Carol O’ Cleireacain, "The Private Economy and the Public Budget of New York City," in Margaret E. Crahan and Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, eds., The City and the World: New York’s Global Future (New York, Council on Foreign Relations, 1997).
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