Fallout from attacks expected to cost country 1.8 million jobs by end of 2002

Thursday, January 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will cost the country more than 1.8 million jobs by the end of the year, according to a study released Friday.

The Milken Institute, a Santa Monica-based economic think tank that conducted the study of 315 cities, said the losses will spread across industries, from restaurants to financial services to aerospace.

``The consequences of Sept. 11 for individuals and unique localities have been profound,'' the report said.

Already, 248,000 jobs have been lost because of the attacks, and an additional 1.6 million are expected to be lost this year, the report said.

New York City will lose nearly 150,000 more jobs, followed by Los Angeles with an additional 69,000 jobs, and Chicago with at least 68,000 more jobs, the report said.

Las Vegas will prove the single most vulnerable metropolitan area in percentage terms: The report said it is likely to see nearly 5 percent fewer jobs this year because of the attacks.

``The good news is that many of those jobs should come back,'' said Ross DeVol, director of regional studies at the Milken Institute.

Most cities are expected to begin to recover in 2003, with the exception of New York, which should start its rebound a year later, the report said. However, DeVol said the economic damage will linger into 2004.

The U.S. Labor Department, which tallies job losses, found a total of 1.1 million jobs were lost from September through December. Those four months account for all but 300,000 of the jobs lost since the recession began in March, the department's statistics show.

The Milken report used economic models to extrapolate employment losses based on each metro area's economic trends prior to Sept. 11.

Of the estimated 1.6 million job losses this year that it ties to the terrorist attacks, 760,000 will be directly related to the attacks, with two-thirds of those in travel and tourism, the report said. The rest will be due to a ripple effect, it said.

The largest drop-off will be in air transportation, accounting for about 20 percent of the lost jobs, the report said.

Spending on airline travel dropped 38 percent in September, a decline of $12.5 billion, and improved only modestly in October. In October and November, the industry cut 81,000 jobs, or 6.2 percent of its work force.

The entertainment and advertising sectors will lose 150,000 jobs as a result of the attacks, primarily because companies are slashing advertising budgets, the report said.

New York lost billions of dollars worth of assets and thousands of jobs directly related to the shutdown of its financial district in the week following the attacks.

In Las Vegas, one in every 20 casino jobs was cut in the six weeks after the attacks.

John Parker, a former housekeeping employee at the Rio hotel-casino, has been laid off since October. He was at the Catholic Charities social services office Thursday looking for help with his $800-a-month rent.

``I sold everything I had in my house to pay for the rent in November and December,'' said Parker, 39, a single father of two. That included his furniture and television.

``We do feel the impact, and it hurts,'' said Erika Brandvik, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. ``But nobody ever gets a long-term feeling of doom and gloom about the Las Vegas economy. We have a record of recovery.''