Net job loss of 220,000 has highest impact on less educated workers, low paying professions and minority communities & results in $61 billion decrease in local economic activity
Curran and Bellone call on Congress to deliver significant financial relief to counties to jumpstart regional economy
Nassau County, NY - July 9, 2020 – Today, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone shared the results of a comprehensive study analyzing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Long Island’s economy as well as outlining recovery projections and strategies. The report, developed by distinguished consulting firm HR&A Advisors with support from the Nassau County IDA and Suffolk County IDA, breaks down job losses as a result of the pandemic, revealing that Long Island is shedding jobs at a faster rate than New York City and all other suburban counties in the state. Among other grim statistics, the analysis shows a disproportionate share of the 220,000 jobs lost across Long Island include low-paying jobs, workers with low levels of education and Hispanic/Latino workers.
This study is part of Nassau and Suffolk Counties’ ongoing and collaborative efforts to measure the real-time economic impact on each industry sector, their workforces, our geographies and populations and how this in turn impacts our local governments. The report identifies recovery projections and strategies, emphasizing the necessity of support from the State and Federal government. Both County Executives reiterated their request to Congress for direct financial relief to both counties in the next federal recovery bill to deal with the economic distress caused by COVID-19.
“With the fastest rise of unemployment on record, leading to a complete fall off of economic activity, this report outlines the economic shock to our local economy and the continued pain among our businesses and minority communities – hit hardest by the pandemic in more ways than one,” said Nassau County Executive Curran. “I will continue to do everything I can on the County level to revive our economy and address these disparities – from our loan program for MWBE businesses and businesses in economically distressed areas, to free PPE kits to small businesses, to our food distributions that have fed 20,000 local families in need. But this report underscores that we cannot recover from this devastating crisis alone – Washington needs to step in now with support for local governments so we can continue to provide vital services for our residents.”
"This pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders to lose their jobs, shuttered businesses, and turned our local economy upside down," said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. "This report makes clear that federal aid from Congress is necessary if our region is going to rebound and recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
“Though history can often serve as a guide, few parallels exist between previous economic recessions and the current one caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the absence of precedent, HR&A developed an analytic framework that was informed by business surveys and interviews with a cross-section of businesses across the region to understand how, specifically, this disaster has impacted the regional economy, including the geographies, populations, and business sectors that have been disproportionately impacted,” said HR&A Partner Shuprotim Bhaumik. “As local governments and business leaders shift their focus from emergency response to recovery, we believe that this work will inform the pursuit of a just and resilient recovery for the region, one that grapples with the underlying economic and social challenges that have made COVID-19 so devastating for marginalized and vulnerable populations on Long Island.”
“This report clearly shows the need for significant federal assistance to help both counties and especially our small businesses and downtowns reopen, survive and thrive. The Nassau IDA is prepared to take whatever actions we can implement to revive the Island’s economy,” said Nassau County IDA Chairman Richie Kessel.
“This report is essential in understanding in finer detail the various impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist in creating a strategic recovery plan for the region, which to be implemented, must be supported by further federal relief in order to minimize long term economic damage and other negative impacts on the region for several years to come,” said Suffolk County IDA Chair Natalie Wright.
Total Job Losses
Industries Hit Hardest
Highest Impact on Less Educated Workers & Low Earning Professions
Impact on Low-Income & Minority Communities
Job Loss Impact on Economic Activity & County Budgets
Targeted Financial Aid Key to Recovery
The study applied the results of several studies conducted by the counties, including two created and hosted by Hofstra, to assess the impact that the coronavirus is having on local businesses and get an update on how they were fairing as they prepared to reopen. The study utilized a variety of other data sources to project the initial economic shock from COVID-19 by sector, including documented monthly job losses from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and weekly initial Unemployment Insurance claims from the New York State Department of Labor. The report also expanded upon precedent impact studies and methodologies and consults other economic forecasts to identify differential rates of recovery and perspectives of local industry groups and civic organizations to project “new normal” levels of economic activity.
The study was authored by HR&A Advisors, a mission-driven public policy, economic development, and urban resilience consulting firm with deep expertise working with local governments, community organizations, and private and philanthropic partners to rapidly address physical and economic moments of crisis while facilitating planning and implementation efforts to help communities transition from recovery to long-term resilience.
To view the full report, visit: www.nassaucountyny.gov/EconomicImpact