New York’s Economy and Finances in the COVID-19 Era

July 9, 2020 Edition

Selected Economic Trends

More Than Half of Adult New Yorkers Affected by Loss of Employment Income

As was widely reported, New York’s unemployment rate has soared upward in recent months, with May's 14.5 percent nearly four times the 3.7 percent in February. But that rate is only one measure of the impact of lost jobs.

of New York adults age 18 and over live in households that have lost employment income since mid-March, compared to 48% nationally
of New York individuals anticipate that they or someone in their household will experience a loss in job income in the coming four weeks

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, as of June 16

New York City Leads in Job Losses, But All Regions Suffer Big Declines

New York City lost more than 937,000 jobs, 20 percent of its previous total, from February through May. The COVID-19 recession has hit hard in every area of the State, erasing more than 1.8 million jobs statewide. New York City lost both more jobs and a higher percentage of total February employment than all of upstate (478,000 jobs, 16.8 percent) or the downstate suburbs (431,000 jobs, 18.8 percent). Percentage declines in all regions were well above the nation’s 12.8 percent.

Source: State Department of Labor statistics

More Troubling Impacts From COVID-19

Beyond the tragic numbers of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic are other troubling impacts.

of adults living in New York households delayed medical care in the last four weeks as a result of COVID-19
missed last month’s rent or mortgage payment or fear they may miss the next one
of New Yorkers did not have enough to eat at times during the previous week

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, based on those surveyed during the week of June 18 through June 23

Clear Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities Emerge From the Census Data

For example, while 10 percent of all U.S. adults live in households reporting not having enough to eat in the last seven days – that figure rises to 19 percent and 14 percent for black and Hispanic households, respectively. The Census data suggest that such disparities are present in New York as well.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, based on those surveyed during the week of June 18 through June 23

New York Business Conditions and Expectations

When Will Things Return to Normal?

Well over half of New York’s small businesses said they do not expect business to return to its normal level of operations for at least six months. Within that total:

of New York small businesses expect a return to normality to take more than six months
of New York small businesses do not expect a return to normal levels at all – a finding 2 percentage points above the national response

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, based on those surveyed in the last week of June

Brighter Days May Be Ahead

The percentage of New York’s small businesses reporting reductions in paid employment has declined in recent weeks, from over one-third in the week ending May 2 to just over 13 percent in the week ending June 27. At the same time, the proportion of small businesses reporting increases in paid employees has risen and, as of the week ending June 27th, was only slightly below the proportion of those reporting decreases.

New York State's Budget

The State’s General Fund balance was $6.4 billion as of July 3. Cash on hand has been bolstered by $5.1 billion from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established by Congress, as well as $4.5 billion in short-term borrowing that is expected to be repaid before the end of the fiscal year. These resources help alleviate the potential for a near-term cash flow crunch, despite the drop in revenues and the delay of billions of dollars in tax receipts due to the deferral of the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.

Additional Resources

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