Tuesday Afternoon Update: Unemployment rate dips in Westchester; Key Bank to lend $5B to small businesses; Pearson to move jobs to NYC

Mixed news on the business front today, including an unexpected drop in Westchester’s unemployment rate, a big announcement from Key Bank, and some analysis on Pearson PLC’s move of over 1,200 jobs (including 20 from White Plains) to Lower Manhattan. But first…

LEADING OFF – I would be remiss if I didn’t tip my hat to the greatest closer and one of the most dominating pitchers in the history of baseball, Mariano Rivera, who resides in Harrison. To your health, good sir.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS UNEXPECTEDLY; STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS – The unemployment rate in Westchester County dropped to 6.5 percent in August – down from July’s 6.7 percent mark – despite the fact that nationally, there was zero net job gains. However, on closer inspection, the numbers of employed Westchester residents and of unemployed residents both dropped significantly from July, indicating the possibility that increasing numbers of discouraged job-seekers put their job search on hold.

We will bring you more on this as the week goes on.

KEY BANK ANNOUNCES $5 BILLION SMALL BUSINESS LENDING PROGRAM – Today, following a meeting between Vice President Joseph Biden and representatives from 17 of the country’s biggest banks, Key Bank announced that it would make $5 billion in capital available for small business loans over the next three years.

PEARSON TO MOVE 1,200 JOBS TO LOWER MANHATTAN – Pearson PLC, a London-based publisher whose products include the Financial Times, announced earlier this week that it would move 1,200 employees from northern New Jersey, White Plains, and Midtown Manhattan to offices in Hoboken, NJ, and Lower Manhattan.

Now, only 20 of the jobs reportedly on the move are coming from White Plains. However, the big news is that Pearson has been offered more than $130 MILLION in tax credits and other incentives offered by both New York and New Jersey.

MY take on this is that Pearson got a pretty sweet deal – particularly when you take into account the fact that the company ALREADY had operations in Lower Manhattan and that this move essentially bolsters the existing footprint. In other words, New Jersey and New York are paying Pearson $82 million and $49 million, respectively, to enlarge an already important location that the company would likely not have considered leaving anyhow.

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