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Fleeing a Sinking Ship?

New York is lovely in the summer, because it empties out. Thanks to Wall Street's meltdown, New York might be lovely this winter, too.

Young strivers in growing numbers are facing an agonizing choice whether to move away after becoming jobless or stick around hoping a new opportunity will materialize, says a story in Friday's New York Times.

It details the plight of various finance industry workers, many in their early 20s and recently laid off from entry-level positions. The options they're contemplating run the gamut from the ever popular MBA school detour, to breaking leases, giving up and seeking work in another city or country, subletting high-cost apartments and moving in with relatives in the city's less desirable outer boroughs. Those who stay face the challenge of meeting New York living expenses on $405 weekly unemployment benefits, sometimes supplemented by "family largess" or - for the lucky ones - severance from their former employers.

"Interviews over the past two weeks with affected workers and recruiters revealed an emerging portrait of newly minted college graduates suddenly jobless in a frightfully expensive city, and forced to contemplate a change in career - or address," the Times says.

Laid-off banker Win Hornig launched a blog about the experience, called bankergonebroke.com. Hornig, who lost his job at JPMorgan in September, told the Times, "People are definitely going to leave the city if the market doesn't come back. It's just too expensive." He's thinking about business school but worries about having to compete against "a flood of banker applications this year." Indeed, GMAT registrations are up 12 percent from a year ago, and NYU's Stern School is seeing 20 - 30 percent more prospective applicants, according to the article.

Another banker who lost his job in September, 24-year old Jonathan Miller, is now looking for work in "Boston, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, London and Israel," the story says.

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AUTHORJon Jacobs Insider Comment

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