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New York recession fell harder on Wall Street, males: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of industries in New York state, including financial services, terminated at least 5 percent of their workers in the current recession, which has fallen harder on men, minorities and those without college degrees, a report said on Tuesday.

The financial services sector, which powers New York's economy, shed 44,200 jobs, a 6.1 percent decline in the work force, according to the report by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Almost 60 percent of the losses were at securities companies, which sent out 26,000 pink slips, decreasing the work force by 12.5 percent. On a percentage basis, Wall Street's decline was the biggest.

Over 75 percent of those who were laid off had at least a bachelor's degree and about 14 percent of them were Asian -- about twice the statewide average, the report said.

Fewer bankers were laid off: the credit intermediation industry, which includes credit unions, cut 8,300 workers, a 4.9 percent decline.

Though much of New York's upstate region has been declining for years as manufacturers closed or left, the Democratic comptroller's report underscored New York City's pain in the latest recession:

* About 70 percent of the total of 291,900 of jobs cut from July 2008, when employment peaked, through December 2009, were axed by employers located in the city and nearby suburbs.

* A few industries that men dominate, including construction and manufacturing, had some of the heaviest losses -- the former lost 42,300 positions and the latter lost 54,000 workers.

This is one reason the recession has fallen harder on men, whose jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent through December 2009, from 4.9 percent in December 2007, when the recession began.

For women, the unemployment rate rose to 7.7 percent from 4.4 percent, partly because they tend to dominate two of the few growing fields: education and health services. If those two sectors are excluded, the total of lost jobs rises to 347,000.

Among minorities, the unemployment rate for Black or African American workers has remained at around the 14.8 percent level it hit in December 2008, up from 8.8 percent in December 2007, the report said. For Hispanics, the rate almost doubled to 13 percent from 6.6 percent in the two-year period.

The unemployment rate for workers who did not finish high school soared to 15.5 percent from 10.5 percent.

Other industries with deep job losses included professional and business services, which sliced 68,300 positions. This worked out to a 5.9 percent decline in the work force, which includes legal, accounting and employment services.

The wholesale trade sector shed 24,900 workers, a 7.1 percent decline.

In the information sector, which includes publishing, 16,200 workers lost their jobs, cutting the work force by 6.2 percent.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities companies axed 14,200 of their workers, a 5.1 percent decline. Minority workers are half of this work force, and more than one out of every six jobs lost was at courier and messenger services.

Women represent more than half of the workers in retail trade, which shed 30,600 positions, a 3.4 percent decline. The leisure and hospitality industry laid off 16,400 workers, a 2.3 percent decline.

(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Kenneth Barry)