Image source: New York Post
The state of the economy has sparked a sense of desperation in major cities worldwide, and New York City is among those urging workers to return to their offices.
However, workers have expressed concern over attacks on the Big Apple’s subway system earlier this year.
According to Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the New York City Partnership, some of New York City’s most powerful CEOs have reached out to Mayor Eric Adams for answers.
“The executives came out very strong, saying: We can’t in conscience bring our people back to work, encourage them to ride the subways, unless we see tangible evidence that you are doing something about this,” said Wylde.
CEOs banded together after hearing news of high-profile attacks on subway drivers.
Killings and statistics
Michelle Go, a consultant for Deloitte, 40, was pushed onto an approaching train at the Times Square subway station.
Five months ago, during rush hour, a gunman fired 33 shots at commuters.
Daniel Enriquez, a Goldman Sachs executive, was shot dead by another passenger in May.
With the city on the edge, Mayor Adams spoke to reporters right after Go’s murder, saying:
“To lose a New Yorker in this fashion would only continue to elevate the fears of individuals not using our subway system.”
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the number of complaints such as assault and harassment in the transportation system in 2022 will be almost identical to that of 2019.
However, the number of travelers on the metro is still around 60% compared to three years ago.
Attacks on the subway have also contributed to the increase in crime in the city.
Meanwhile, police statistics indicate the homicide rate was lower than in 2021, when the United States slowly emerged from the pandemic blockade.
Despite the positive numbers, it is still higher than in 2019.
The number of crimes has also increased this year compared to last year and 2019.
While New York City’s crime rate is at an all-time low, nearly half of registered voters responded to a poll, voting crime as “the most pressing problem New York City faces today.”
The impact on Wall Street
Go and Enriquez’s deaths worked for major financial institutions, causing concern for Wall Street.
Financial firms have come out in favor of returning employees to their offices, but Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is concerned about the crime.
“We have to have a safe environment for people,” said Solomon.
“I think public safety is just paramount for the vitality of the cities, and the vitality of cities is paramount for economic activity in our country.”
New York is not alone, as other cities have faced public safety concerns.
Billionaire Ken Griffin moved the Citadel headquarters from Chicago to Miami due to the city’s long-standing crime woes.
The future of New York is a concern
The issue of safety is a given for people, and this is a concern for Kathryn Wylde, especially in terms of how it affects young people. Investigations show that people are more afraid of subways and crimes.
Wall Street directors often highlight how important it is that young people find themselves at work for mentoring and other career opportunities when they discuss the plans with the return to the office.
However, Wylde remembers the 1960s when crime rates were much higher and current residents lived in time.
“A whole generation of New Yorkers never gave a thought to their personal safety and security because we were the safest big city in America, perhaps the world,” says Wylde.
Managers like Kathryn Wylde fear that New York will lose its attractiveness for businesses and employees in the event of security problems.