Trailing Spouses - Job Hunting
Your spouse has just been offered a promotion that requires relocating to the New York City (NYC) region. This is a wonderful opportunity for your family; however, it does pose a certain dilemma for you. You are now the “trailing spouse,” the person who follows a partner who is relocating to a new city. While your spouse is guaranteed a job, you are left to find one in an unfamiliar city. You have heard that the NYC job market recently felt the impact of the recession across nearly every sector but is now successfully but slowly working to grow employment and the local economy. The bad news is that you are unsure where to begin looking for your dream job. To assist in your job search, this chapter of Relocating to New York has been designed to guide you through the process. The following offers an overview of the current NYC job market, primary employment sectors, industry growth and employment resources.

THE NEW YORK CITY JOB MARKET
While it may seem to you that 9/11 was a long time ago, it’s still very fresh in the minds of many New Yorkers. Thousands of the city’s—and the world’s—biggest and most prominent companies had offices in the World Trade Centers and close by. Although it took a long time for the companies and staff to recover and relocate after the tragedy, the workforce, along with everything else in the city, was able to bounce back fairly quickly and admirably. In the years following the attack, residents proved resilient and NYC thrived up until late 2007 when the recession tore through the city like a tidal wave. While this economic downturn led to substantial job loss around the country, the city’s employment picture is moving in a positive direction even though it will continue to experience bumps and take time to fully recover.

NYC comprises many business sectors. It’s the Economic Capital of the World, and there are more Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in this city than anyplace else. It’s the national center of the arts, banking, publishing, finance, accounting, advertising, fashion and law. It’s also home to the United Nations; and many other overseas corporations select NYC as their home base for U.S. operations. NYC is one of the world’s top tourism destinations, and the hospitality industry is a major—and growing—employer. NYC houses the nation’s largest media market and has a significant employment in numerous other industries, including wholesale and retail, construction, real estate, health care, education, law enforcement and nonprofit organizations. In addition, a sizeable percentage of the area workforce dedicates itself to running the city itself, which translates into hundreds of thousands of jobs in public management, transportation and related services.

REGIONAL WORKFORCE
About 19 percent of the city’s workforce is involved in the education and health services industries. The trade, transportation and utilities industry also provides the area with a large percentage of jobs (18 percent). Professional and business services, along with the government industry, have a striking presence, each contributing 15 percent to NYC’s overall employment. Within the single digits fall finance (9 percent), leisure and hospitality (8 percent), manufacturing (4 percent) and other services (4 percent), and 8 percent of NYC employment includes all other industries. There are several shifts from year-to-year in the industry order: education and health services flipped for first and second place with trade, transportation and utilities, and government traded fourth and fifth ranks with professional and business services.

Government lost the most jobs, shedding 54,300 or 3.5 percent of the sector’s workforce due to cutbacks required from the huge budget deficit. Manufacturing lost the second most jobs (13,100 or 3.5 percent) of its workforce. The education and health services industry reported the greatest expansion, adding 20,200 jobs during the year. Leisure and hospitality also reported positive growth, adding 15,100 jobs.

The city’s significant education and health services sector served as NYC’s foundation during its most tumultuous times. This industry has grown into the largest employer due to many factors, such as top universities in NYC, like Columbia University, Cornell University and New York University. The city is also home to the largest public school system in the nation with 1.1 million students currently enrolled, which supports almost 135,000 full-time jobs. The crown jewel of NYC health care is the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which is currently the leading private employer in the city. In addition, a vast array of libraries, research centers and other colleges and hospitals help make the education and health services industry the largest employment sector in NYC.

NYC has a thriving media sector, with big names like Time Warner and News Corporation, the world’s top advertising agencies and record labels and a burgeoning arts and fashion industry. Plus, it houses the world’s most prominent professional service businesses, from law firms to consulting firms. Leisure and hospitality continue to be a stable industry because of all the local attractions and convention centers located in NYC. Tourism attracts nearly 47 million visitors annually to the city.

The Big Apple is renowned for its financial services sector, which contributes nearly a quarter to the city’s economy. The Wall Street collapse, caused by internal scandals, the subprime mortgage scandal and overextended firms, shook not only Wall Street companies, but also the local economy and real estate market. The financial services industry rebound, now under way, will be a significant driving force to the city’s economy.

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