Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
New York, NY –
New York City is seeing a small uptick in construction employment as the weather gets warmer and some projects move forward. Elly Spicer has been a member of the carpenters' union for 24 years. She says her industry has stabilized somewhat - and the mood now is quite different from the winter.
SPICER: You saw this massive panic and everyone went screeching to a halt and now it's starting to open up. Things are very tight though.
Spicer says the recession has also hurt the recruitment of women into the construction industry. Of nearly 17,000 active members in the carpenters' union, only 450 - about 3 percent - are women.
From February to March of this year, New York City's construction workforce grew by nearly 3 percent, while the overall yearly decline was 10 percent. Manufacturing employment shrunk by 15 percent. And financial services by 6 percent, according to the state's Labor Department.