Rise in City’s Jobless Rate Continues to Outpace Hiring

No matter how much hiring companies in New York City do, the city’s unemployment rate keeps rising.

It rose again in March, to 9.7 percent, from 9.6 percent in February, and is now nearly as high as it was at the depth of the recession. But, at the same time, the State Labor Department said, the number of jobs in the city continued to rise at a healthy pace.

The city added more jobs last month than it typically does in March, with hiring especially strong in education, health services and business and professional services, said James P. Brown, principal economist for the New York State Department of Labor. Still, Mr. Brown added, the city’s unemployment rate has risen each month of 2012, while the national rate has fallen to 8.2 percent.

“The unemployment rate continues to trend upward and, at this point, the increase is significant,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s gone up pretty steadily this year.”

The rising unemployment rate has confounded economists and elected officials, who keep pointing to the simultaneous increase in jobs as evidence that the city’s economy is recovering from the financial crisis. In the last 12 months, employment in the city’s private sector has increased by 68,700 jobs, or 2.1 percent, the Labor Department reported. That was slightly faster than the national growth rate of 2 percent for the year through March.

Indeed, New York City and the entire state now have regained all of the private-sector jobs lost during the recession, Mr. Brown said. But the city has continued to attract job-seekers, an influx that can push up the unemployment rate until the newcomers find work. Another complication is that the unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of city residents, while the jobs data comes from a survey of employers.

The reported gain of more than 42,000 jobs already this year would be one of the biggest increases in any three-month period in the last 12 years, said Barbara Byrne Denham, an economist with Eastern Consolidated, a real estate services firm in Manhattan. That growth appears out of line with the recent activity in the office-leasing market, which has been quite weak, she said.

“This third month in a row of sizable gains is not only remarkable but confounding,” Ms. Denham said. “While some anecdotal evidence has indicated that employers are feeling more confident about economic conditions, plenty of other statistics suggest that headwinds continue to weigh on the economy: the national employment trend has decelerated, the stock market declined this month and many are still concerned about the situation in Europe.”

Ms. Denham, who performs her own calculations each month to adjust the city’s jobs data for seasonal fluctuations in hiring, estimated that the city added 13,100 private-sector jobs in March. Wall Street shed about 800 jobs last month, but has still gained over all in 2012.

Mr. Brown said employment on Wall Street “is gradually declining, but I think it’s above the levels people were expecting six months ago.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sought to emphasize the positive aspect of the latest economic news. “It’s encouraging that our private sector continues to add jobs,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “which is the most reliable sign that New York City’s economy continues to grow.”

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A Word From Our Sponsor On Childcare Choice Insurance For Childcare Facilities

Whether your clients are looking for insurance for a daycare or a private school, childcare choice insurance might be just what you need to offer them. Childcare insurance is a program that anyone needs if they are in charge of children. If you have clients who run any type of out-of-home facility, we may have what you are looking for.
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A Word From Our Sponsor On Protecting Your Dealership With Workers Compensation Policies

If you own an auto dealership, you probably have considered purchasing a workers compensation auto dealer policy. Some states require that businesses purchase workers compensation policies, but if you happen to live in a state where it is optional, you may want to consider some of the benefits for offering workers compensation to your employees.

There are many risks that an auto dealership employee encounters each day while working. If an employee happens to accompany a potential customer for a test drive, for example, there is a potential for injury due to collision. If your dealership has a service center, inherent risks exist while using the tools for fixing automobiles. If an employee is injured while working at your dealership and decides to sue for damages, the resulting fees and settlements can be devastating to your business. If you decide to purchase a workers compensation auto dealer policy, your employees can receive the benefits that they need for recovery, which will protect your dealership from costly law suits.

Another benefit to purchasing workers compensation policies is the preventive benefits. Oftentimes, insurance providers will offer various resources and trainings that can help a business reduce injury risks in the workplace.

While it might be tempting to avoid a purchase that is not required, workers compensation auto dealer policies can offer great protection and benefit to your dealership.

Saving an Officer’s Life, With Running Clothes Beneath His Scrubs

Dr. Joshua B. Bederson awoke early Tuesday morning in Florida, where he had addressed a conference of neurosurgeons on Monday. He knew he had a big day scheduled: return to New York, where he is the head of neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and perform two operations starting at 11 a.m.

He flew into La Guardia, went home to Manhattan, changed into running clothes and headed for Central Park. He had made it once around the reservoir when his phone went off. A police officer had been stabbed in the head.

Dr. Bederson, 55, ran out of the park, up Fifth Avenue, and through the doors of Mount Sinai Hospital’s emergency room, on Madison Avenue north of 99th Street. He threw his scrubs on over his T-shirt and sweat pants — “I was sweating all over the patient” — and got to work.

The first new piece of bad news was that the patient, Officer Eder Loor, had pulled the knife out.

“I would have preferred to see the knife still in there,” Dr. Bederson said, because the blade might have been holding a lot of the damage in place, and because pulling it out performed a second slicing action.

“Remember that famous adventurer who got stabbed in the heart by a stingray?” Dr. Bederson said in a phone interview from his office Wednesday afternoon. “He died because he pulled it out himself.”

A scan showed blood building up inside Officer Loor’s head, inside and outside the brain. A large blood clot inside his brain – “thick, like grape jelly” — was exerting tremendous pressure. It had already shoved the left side of his brain a centimeter across the midline.

“You don’t want to overemphasize, but he was at death’s door,” Dr. Bederson said. “He was at the very, very end of what he could compensate for.”

To save the officer, Dr. Bederson’s team had to open up the skull, relieve the pressure, find the sources of the bleeding and stop it.

Out came the knives and drills. The doctors cut a huge bone flap in his skull – almost seven inches in diameter.

Inside Officer Loor’s head, Dr. Bederson saw that the knife had sliced through the vein in the Sylvian fissure, which contains crucial blood vessels. It had nicked but not penetrated the middle cerebral artery, the main blood supplier for the brain’s left hemisphere.

If the blade had gone through the artery, Dr. Bederson said, “It would have all been over.”

Even so, Dr. Bederson said he worried that the artery was damaged and that the blood clot pressing against it was all that was keeping it from bleeding.

“I said ‘Uh-oh,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘This is a microscope case. Let’s bring in the microscope.’”

The operating room, already crowded with nurses, residents, anesthesiologists and student observers, began to fill with spectators. “Whenever there’s an interesting case, your colleagues will come,” Dr. Bederson said. Eventually, he said, “there was such a level of interest that I asked people to leave.”

He was not nervous, but mindful of the stakes.

“You don’t get preoccupied, but you don’t forget that you have a human being,” he said. “A young human being with a 25-year-old pregnant wife.”

The knife blade, three inches long, had plunged all the way through the temporal lobe, just missing centers that control speech and vision, and lodged in the base of the skull, clipping a vein next to the carotid artery but stopping just short of the artery itself. The blade had cut into the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve, which controls feeling in the face. But it did not slice through the main bulk of the nerve.

“It was a millimeter from everything,” Dr. Bederson said. “It was ridiculous.”

The operating-room microscope floats above the patient, held in place by a complex metal contraption. Dr. Bederson looked through the eyepieces as he cut and cauterized, sealing off the Sylvian vein, which was responsible for about 80 percent of the bleeding, and the venous complex surrounding the carotid artery, which was responsible for most of the rest.

The hematoma had been evacuated. The bleeding was stopped. The surgical team put Officer Loor’s skull back together and sewed him up.

Two hours and 40 minutes had passed.

The officer was brought out of anesthesia. He moved all his limbs. He spoke clearly. He saw; his eyes tracked. Dr. Bederson later told reporters that he expected the officer to make a full recovery.

Officer Loor’s only complaint, besides pain, was that “his cheek and his jaw are numb and he can’t feel his nose on the left side,” the doctor said.

He may have to learn to live with it.

“Probably at least some of the fibers were severed; he may be left with a little bit of numbness,” Dr. Bederson said. “It’s not the end of the world.”


This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 19, 2012

An earlier version of this blog post, based on information from the hospital, misstated the duration of Officer Eder Loor’s surgery. The surgery lasted two hours and 40 minutes, not four hours.

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Share Your Memories of Dick Clark and New Year’s Eve

Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday, helped make rock ‘n’ roll a staple of American pop culture with “American Bandstand.”

But to countless people, New Yorkers and visitors alike, Mr. Clark will always be synonymous with New Year’s Eve and Times Square. He hosted and produced the televised celebration every year starting in 1973 and continued making brief appearances even after he had a stroke in 2004.

So with Mr. Clark’s death, we ask City Room readers to share their memories of the annual New Year’s celebration awaiting the ball to drop. For those who managed to squeeze into Times Square on Dec. 31, what stories does the news of Mr. Clark’s passing bring to mind — a new romance, the end of a romance, a needlessly frigid and less-than-fun night?

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