NYC Job Recovery is Slow and Uneven. Private Sector Has Regained 30% of Jobs Lost since February

The City’s economy gained 111,000 jobs between July and August 2020, reflecting a slow and partial recovery from the crushing COVID lockdown. This was a modest but meaningful improvement, but the City’s employment base is still way below its pre-COVID level of February 2020. The data come from a monthly seasonally adjusted calculation performed by the New York City Office of Management and Budget, using Federal and New York State Labor Department reports.

Governor Cuomo signed the Statewide emergency closure of non-essential businesses on March 20. Some businesses had already been closing in March so the peak pre-COVID New York employment level was registered in the February 2020 employment reports.

 From February 2020 to April 2020, employment in New York City plunged 913,000, from 4.685 million to 3.772 million. The City’s private sector decline was 896,000 in the same two-month period, dropping from 4.092 million to 3.196 million in April 2020.

Here are OMB’s New York City employment figures, overall and private sector, from February 2020 to August 2020.

Since April, the City economy has regained 268,000 private sector jobs, about 30% of the 896,000 that were lost in the February-April period.

This table shows government employment in the City. From February to July, government employment ( all levels, Federal, State, and City) fell by over 91,000. In August, government employed gained over 53,000. The net reduction, therefore has been 38,000 since February.

The slow job growth is clearly insufficient to help the City and MTA budget deficits from recovering anytime soon

Jim Brennan was a member of the New York State Assembly for 32 years and retired at the end of 2016. He chaired four committees, including the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions for six years, the Committee on Cities for five years, and the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for six years. There are 96 Brennan laws on the books of the State of New York and Jim won three national awards for his legislative work during his career.

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