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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: NYC Experiencing Record Job Growth

February 22, 2018

Job growth in New York City has outpaced the nation and New York state since the end of the recession, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The city added a total of 702,200 jobs between 2009 and 2017, more than during any other expansion.

"New York City is undergoing the largest and longest expansion since World War II," DiNapoli said. "Employment is at a record level and more jobs are being created in the boroughs outside of Manhattan than ever before."

Employment in New York City increased by 18.9 percent between 2009 and 2017, pushing employment to an unprecedented level of 4.4 million in 2017, breaking the pre-recession record by more than 600,000 jobs. The nation and New York state had job gains of 11.5 percent during this period.

The city has been the driving force behind employment growth in the state, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the gains since 2009. While job growth slowed in each of the past three years, the city still posted a solid gain of 72,700 jobs in 2017.

While the securities industry is still an important part of the city's economy, its contribution to job growth has been modest in recent years. Instead, growth has been driven by health care, business services (particularly tech and media companies) and tourism-related businesses, such as restaurants.

Job growth in New York City has become more geographically diversified than at any time in the past forty years. Nearly half of the gains since 2009 have been in the boroughs outside of Manhattan, the largest share since at least 1975. Brooklyn had the fastest rate of private sector job growth in the five boroughs since 2009 (38 percent), followed by Queens (24 percent),Manhattan (20 percent), Bronx (15 percent) and Staten Island (14 percent).

Private sector employment in the city increased by 23 percent between 2009 and 2017. The revitalization of neighborhoods throughout the city have contributed to strong job growth. Ten neighborhoods had growth that exceeded 40 percent: Bedford-Stuyvesant; Borough Park;Flatbush; Sheepshead Bay/Gravesend; Central Harlem; Bensonhurst; Coney Island; Williamsburg/Greenpoint; Bay Ridge and Howard Beach/South Ozone Park. No neighborhood in the city lost jobs between 2009 and 2017.

After peaking at 10.2 percent in October 2009 during the Great Recession, the unemployment rate in the city dropped to 4 percent in March 2017, the lowest level since the current data series was introduced 41 years earlier. Since March, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.3 percent in December 2017 as more people entered the work force, encouraged by the strong economy.

DiNapoli's report also found:

  • The business services sector was the largest source of new jobs during the expansion, adding 174,400 jobs from 2009 to 2017.
  • Health care is the only sector in New York City that has experienced gains every year since 1990 (when the current data series was established). The sector added 21,400 jobs in 2017, bringing total employment to 519,000, 28 percent more than in 2009.
  • The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for one-fifth of the gains between 2009 and 2017 (139,400 jobs). More than three-quarters of the gains were in bars and restaurants.
  • While the securities industry added 9,700 jobs since 2009, it is still 5 percent smaller than before the financial crisis.
  • The retail sector lost jobs in each of the past two years as brick and mortar stores face increased competition from online retailers. Despite losses in the past two years, the retail sector still accounted for 8 percent of the gains since 2009.

The report noted that the 2017 unemployment rate for African-Americans (5.6 percent) and Hispanics (5.9 percent) was higher than for whites (3.1 percent) and Asians (3.7 percent). However, the unemployment rate for African-Americans was significantly lower than the 7.7 percent national average for this group, while the unemployment rate for Hispanics was moderately higher than the 5.1 percent national average.

Read the report, or go to:

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