New York has 454K fewer jobs from pre-pandemic era, new federal data shows in 2022
New York still has 454,000 fewer private-sector jobs than it had two years ago before the coronavirus pandemic hammered the city and state — a 4.1 percent employment deficit that is the worst in the mainland U.S., an analysis of new federal labor statistics reveals.
As of February, job counts in 21 states had surpassed their pre-pandemic employment levels, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The US as a whole recovered 19.6 million of the 21 million jobs lost in the spring of 2020 –putting it within 1.1 percent of fully recovering all the jobs lost during the pandemic, said the analysis of the federal jobs data by EJ McMahon, senior fellow with the Empire Center for Public Policy.
But New York State was still 4.1 percent below its pre-pandemic employment level. The city’s population has also plummeted — particularly in Manhattan.
“On a percentage basis, only Hawaii and Alaska were worse off,” McMahon said.
Tourist-dependent Hawaii has 9 percent fewer jobs.
The New York jobs recovery is painstakingly slow despite the federal government pumping $270 billion into the state the past two years, he noted.
“It will take more than federally subsidized government spending to ignite the economic growth New York needs,” said McMahon.
McMahon said the COVID-19 lockdowns and other public health restrictions that impacted commerce doesn’t explain why New York has lagged in job recovery.
Neighboring New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts were also hit hard and early by the COVID-19 outbreak and imposed identical lockdowns and restrictions starting in March 2020. So, did California.
Yet New Jersey and California are less than a half percentage point away — 0.4% — from recovering all the pre-pandemic jobs reported in February 2020.
Meanwhile, Florida and Texas have added jobs during the pandemic — 3.4% and 2.9% respectively.
“Two years earlier, Florida had 357,000 fewer private-sector jobs than New York; but as of last month, private employment in the Sunshine State had grown to 244,000 jobs above the New York level,” McMahon said.
In an economic forecast released in January, Gov. Kathy Hochul said New York might not recover the jobs in the tourism, hotel and retail sector until 2026.
New York City — the state’s economic engine and the epicenter of the first COVID-19 outbreak — suffered the biggest job losses. The Big Apple has 282,700 fewer jobs, or nearly 7% less, from pre-pandemic February 2020.
But other regions of the state are also lagging, McMahon said.
“All but one of New York’s 14 other metro areas also trailed well behind the national jobs recovery rate. The exception was the smallest, Watertown-Fort Drum, where employment as of February was up 1.4 percent from 2020,” he said.
An extensive Morning Consult survey of more than 9,000 workers commissioned by the New York City Partnership, the Big Apple’s influential trade group, revealed that concerns about rising crime and a decline in quality of life have also hindered economic recovery.