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

New York City Economy Continues to Set Records

City Added 820,000 Jobs from 2009 to 2018

April 17, 2019

New York City employment reached 4.55 million jobs in 2018, the highest level ever recorded, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“New York City is experiencing its largest and longest job expansion since the end of World War II and the city has been the driving force behind the state’s employment gains,” DiNapoli said. “While job growth remains strong, there are national and global risks that could affect the pace of future growth.”

The city added 820,400 jobs between 2009 and 2018, more than every state in the nation outside of California, Texas, Florida and New York. Still, most of the jobs added were in employment sectors, such as leisure and hospitality, with average salaries below the citywide average of $89,800. In 2018, there were 721,800 more jobs in the city than before the recession.

The city’s current job expansion is also the fastest, with an average of 91,200 jobs added each year. Business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care accounted for 60 percent of the gains since 2009. The high-paying securities industry has also reported solid job gains in recent years, but is still 4 percent smaller than before the 2007 financial crisis.

The citywide unemployment rate fell from 10.1 percent in October 2009 at the height of the Great Recession to an annual rate of 4.1 percent in 2018, the lowest level since 1976 and only slightly higher than the national rate.

In 2017, there were more than two million immigrants employed in New York City, representing 42 percent of all workers. The unemployment rate for immigrants was below the citywide rate.

Since 2009, total employment in New York City has grown by 22 percent, faster than in the state (13.2 percent) and the nation (13.5 percent). Job growth was faster than in both the state and the nation every year since the recession ended.

DiNapoli found the business services sector, which includes accountants, lawyers, programmers and clerks, added the most jobs of any sector between 2009 and 2018 (193,000 jobs), an increase of 34 percent. That accounts for nearly a quarter of all jobs added during this period.

The leisure and hospitality sector grew the fastest (50 percent) and was responsible for nearly one-fifth of the citywide job gains – 153,500. Restaurants were responsible for nearly two-thirds of the gains in this sector.

Health care, the only employment sector to add jobs every year since 1990, added 145,500 jobs from 2009 to 2018. It was also responsible for the most job gains in any sector in 2018.

The technology sector has grown by 80 percent since 2009 to 142,600 jobs. With an average salary of $152,900 in 2017, the tech sector has become one of the economic drivers in New York City.

Job growth in the retail trade sector, however, has slowed dramatically over the past four years with the growth of online trade.

Among the four outer boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens were the biggest contributors to employment growth. Brooklyn accounted for 26 percent of all private sector jobs created in New York City between 2009 and 2018, while Queens contributed 16 percent. Brooklyn had the highest rate of private sector growth of all five boroughs during this period (46 percent), followed by Queens (27 percent), Manhattan (22 percent), the Bronx (19 percent), and Staten Island (16 percent).

As a result of strong job growth in the outer boroughs, Manhattan’s share of private sector employment has declined, from 64 percent in 1990 to 59 percent in 2018. Brooklyn’s share increased the most, rising from nearly 13 percent to 17 percent.

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