16 Oct 2008

New York faces 165,000 job cuts

8:01 am on 16 October 2008

New York City could lose as many as 165,000 jobs as a result of the crisis in the financial sector according to the city's chief financial officer.

Comptroller William Thompson estimates the positions will go over the next two years, including 35,000 directly employed in the financial sector.

The 165,000 figure is more than double an earlier prediction by Mr Thompson in July of 80,000 job losses.

Since then the health of the US financial sector has worsened sharply.

As the financial industry is centred on New York, the BBC reports the city is bearing the brunt of the downturn.

Mr Thompson said the increase in his estimate reflected "the spreading of the economic troubles to other industry sectors as the nation slips into a general recession".

Budget cuts ordered

His fears are shared by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He has already ordered a cut in New York City's budget as the losses among Wall Street firms mean they may not have to pay taxes to the city for a number of years - or at least until profits return.

Last month he told all city agencies to cut their spending by 2.5% this financial year and by 5% for the next.

The US Congress has approved a $US700 billion bail-out for the financial sector.

The federal government on Tuesday announced a $US250 billion plan to purchase stakes in a wide variety of banks to help restore confidence in the sector.