Here is your November economic recovery update from THE CITY. We publish a new analysis of the city’s employment, job and fiscal indicators each month.
City Lags Nation, Still
New York City lost some 14,000 jobs in October, prompting doubts about whether Mayor Eric Adams jumped the gun by announcing last month the city had recovered all the 949,000 jobs lost in the pandemic.
According to seasonally adjusted numbers released Thursday by the state Labor Department, employment totalled 4.693 million in October — 17,200 jobs below the January 2020 pre-pandemic record.
Last month, the state labor department data put the deficit at about 5,000 jobs. But city economists, using different formulas to account for seasonal variations, claimed the city had erased the losses from the pandemic. The mayor and other officials then launched a publicity blitz to spotlight the achievement in media appearances and on social media.
The city has not yet released its seasonally adjusted jobs number for October.
In any event, using the early-2020 record as a milepost tells only part of the story. The U.S. as a whole exceeded its pre-pandemic employment level in June 2022 and has added about 4 million jobs since then, an increase of 3%, showing how the city’s recovery has lagged the rest of the country.
Unemployment Ticks Up
New York City’s unemployment rate in October ticked up 0.1 percentage points, to 5.4% The national unemployment rate is 3.9%, near a 50-year low.
More People Are in the Office
Office occupancy in the New York region hit 50.5% for the week ending Nov. 8, only the second time it had reached that level in the tracker released by the office systems company Kastle. But with the holiday season approaching occupancy could easily return to the 48% level it has maintained for the last several weeks.