New Gotham Gazette Article from Andrew Beveridge: “10 Years Later: Enumerating the Loss at Ground Zero” by Sydney Beveridge
In his latest Gotham Gazette column “10 Years Later: Enumerating the Loss at Ground Zero,” Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge examines the changing demographics of the Trade Center area, and the economic performance of the city a decade after 9/11.
The direct losses to New York and the United States from the World Trade Center attack are incalculable when one considers the personal and emotional loss to family and friends of the victims, as well as to all other New Yorkers, who have contended with the specter of 9/11 during the past decade. Yet, the magnitude of the losses and especially the recovery are being calculated daily…
First, Beveridge describes who the victims were:
Given the firms for whom many of those in the World Trade Center worked, as well as the large number of firefighters and other rescue workers, the other demographic facts should not be that surprising. The victims were overwhelmingly male (about 75 percent), young (many under 40, most under 50) and white (about 75 percent). Only about 8 percent were black, 9 percent Hispanic and about six percent Asian. About 75 percent were born in the United States, and the others originated from many different countries. Together New York and New Jersey residents accounted for about 87 percent of the victims. Many of the airplane passengers came from Boston and California.
Beveridge goes on to detail the scope of the economic losses and the status of the neighborhood and sector today:
Altogether, the 1,294 companies paid about $3.9 billion (all figures are in 2009 dollars) in wages and salaries, averaging about $126,000 per employee, far higher than the average for the New York metro salary of about $69,300 per employee. Few other ZIP codes and none outside of the Financial District rivaled the World Trade Center in generating employment income per employee. Most of the stores, restaurants and other retail establishments paid high rent to be in the trade center. Sandwich shops and other establishments, where less well-off employees worked, were mostly “just” across the street in another ZIP code. Lower Manhattan accounted for about 3 percent of the employment and over 5 percent of the earnings in the large New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Metropolitan area, which extends to Montauk at the tip of Long Island in one direction and to Hope County, Pa., in the other. The finance sector accounted for about 9.2 percent of the employment in the entire region, but 19.2 percent of the wages paid in the New York metropolitan area in 2000.
For instance, once the financial center of the world, Manhattan no longer accounts for over half of all employment in the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector:
Though Lower Manhattan seems to have recovered in terms of employment if not in terms of income, the financial sector in Manhattan seems to have taken a blow from which it has yet to recover. When the financial sector in Manhattan is compared to financial sector in the entire metropolitan area it is plain that some of its jobs have moved away from Manhattan. The sector in this larger region showed some decline to 2005 and then a small increase to 2009. In 2000, Manhattan accounted for 50.7 percent of the employment in finance in the wider metropolitan area. By 2005 that percentage had declined to 46.6 percent, and by 2009 it dropped further to 44.0 percent.
Among his conclusions, Beveridge states that “It seems Manhattan has permanently lost a substantial share of the financial sector.”
To read the full article, please visit GothamGazette.com. For Beveridge’s 2002 article on the same zip code, visit the archived article here.