The question you should ask yourself is: Why do I want to live in NYC or the surrounding areas? If it is only for money you will be better off living where you want to live and visiting NYC. Tourist enjoy the city much more than residents. They usually live in cities or towns where the cost of living is much cheaper and they can actually save for a nice vacation in the city. Also you should do research, just read some NY Times articles on how hard it is for professionals to live here on those $100,000+ salaries.
Yes it is true about the employment statistics. There are lawyers working as paralegals. If you are one of the fortunate it is very hard to live well and pay back loans. You cannot compare it to what it would be like to cut back your living expenses in another town.