Financial 411: New York City's Design Sector

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Throughout the recession and the recovery, New York City's jobless rate has been lower than the nation's as a whole. It was 8.6 percent in April in the city, compared with 9.1 percent for the entire U.S.

One thing that may be helping is the design sector of our local economy. A new study finds jobs are booming in graphic design, industrial design, fashion, and — despite the drop in construction — even architecture.

David Giles, a research associate with the Center for an Urban Future, offers this "working definition" of a designer:

"A designer is someone who shapes objects, rather than produces them. Designers shape buildings, they shape interiors, they shape urban plazas and landscapes. They shape kitchen appliances and tools. They even shape text and letters in some cases."

Graphic design, he said, is one of the fastest growing areas in the design sector.

Giles explores the phenomenon, and explains what's driving that sector's growth. For example, he points out that more companies, including those in the financial services industry, now include in-house design teams.


A survey by the Federal Reserve said the economy is faltering in several regions of the country.

The Dow fell 22 points on that news, settling at 12,049. The Nasdaq lost 26 points, closing at 2,675. And the S&P 500 hit 1,280, a decline of five points.