Senator Parker Announces Statewide Econmic Alert! As Senate Works to Pass Fair Budget Fiscal Conditions Worsen

Kevin S. Parker

March 31, 2009

State Revenue Drops Another $3.2 Billion, Nearly 40,000 More Claim Unemployment Each Week

Brooklyn, NY- Senator Parker announced that projected State revenues have declined by an additional $3.2 billion since February 2009 and new unemployment claims have reached 39,000 per week in March 2009, an increase of more than 20,000 compared to one year ago.

The staggering loss in revenue is due to the increasingly unstable financial services sector and the worsening economic crisis affecting the nation and the State of New York. In February alone, private sector job losses totaled 660,000 and the national unemployment rate rose from 7.6 percent to 8.1 percent. Since the beginning of the economic downturn, over 4.5 million private sector jobs have been lost and the Gross Domestic Product has steadily plummeted, showing a steep decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 from -3.8 percent to -6.2 percent.

"These numbers are troubling; however, is a reminder of the economic challenges New York State faces ," said Senator Parker. "We recognize how dire the economic conditions are and we must immediately turn our attention to broader economic recovery, from healthcare and education, to expanded job opportunities."

In New York, not only have unemployment claims jumped to nearly 40,000 per week over the course of the last month, but at the same time, New York’s unemployment rate has increased from 4.4 percent in January 2007 to 7 percent in January 2009, and is expected to reach 8.4 percent by 2010.

Significant declines in revenue are anticipated in the following areas: personal income taxes due to job losses and declining wages, sales taxes due to decreasing consumption, and business taxes due to reduced economic activity and profitability.

The Majority Whip added, "We need New York to succeed again and if we fail to act, the damage will not be isolated to the financial community, it will harm employers, small business owners, and hard working citizens everywhere."