Jobs in Tourist Hubs Hard Hit By Sept. 11

Many of the of the nation's major tourist destinations are also the ones that are expected to see more job losses as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a new study.

Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Reno, Atlantic City, Honolulu and Orlando, Fla. are among the cities that will see biggest drops in employment in percentage terms this year because of the terrorist attacks, according to a study by the Milken Institute, a non-profit economic think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif.

Around 1.6 million jobs in total are expected to be lost across metropolitan U.S. areas because of the attacks. Other cities' jobless numbers impacted by the attacks will be New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, the report said.

In terms of total numbers of jobs expected to be shed this year as a result of the attacks, New York City ranks first with 149,000 jobs lost in 2002, followed by Los Angeles with 69,000 fewer jobs and Chicago with 68,000 jobs shed.

The study highlights the dramatic effect that the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. have had on the nation's jobless figures, says Ross DeVol, director of regional and demographic studies at the Milken Institute.

"Most of the places that have been harmed had not been experiencing severe effects from the recession prior to Sept. 11," explains DeVol, who notes that before the attacks, the recession was hitting regions heavily dependent on technology-based employment.

"When you layer Sept. 11 into the mix, a whole new host of cities and geographic areas are being affected," he says.

Las Vegas' Jobs Slammed

With its dependence on travel and tourism, Las Vegas is expected to be hardest hit, with a 5 percent loss in jobs, followed by Myrtle Beach, which is expected to have a 3.6 percent drop in jobs in 2002. New York City ranks third with a 3.4 percent loss of jobs.

Industries expected to suffer the most job losses this year are the eating and drinking establishments, with losses of 150,000 jobs, hotels and motels with 140,000 lost jobs and miscellaneous amusement and recreational services, shedding around 100,000 jobs.

"We've never had a catastrophic event of this nature that has harmed travel and tourism to this extent," says DeVol.

Indeed, hotel and motel employment is 16.4 times more important to Las Vegas' economy than for the nation as a whole, while Myrtle Beach has the highest concentration of workers in restaurant and bar establishments in the nation and ranks fourth in hotel and motel employment.

Airline Hubs Hit

Other metropolitan areas expected to suffer increased job losses this year include major airline hubs like Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas and Wichita, Kan., which is a major center of aircraft manufacturing. Aircraft and parts positions are expected to decrease by about 42,000 in metropolitan areas, according to the study.

With a modest recovery expected in the second half of this year, most cities should recover their attack-related job losses by 2003, except for New York, which is not expected to rebound until 2004, the study said.

The study looked at baseline economic forecasts for U.S. metropolitan areas based on information before Sept. 11 and compared those under alternative assumptions based on the length and depth of the economic downturn after the attacks. The report analyzed all 315 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.