Between 2008 and 2016, the number of part-time private sector employees in NYC grew 9%, raising concerns about the type of jobs created in the recovery

(New York, NY) — In a first-of-its-kind report, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer today released an analysis of New York City’s economic recovery from the Great Recession. It is the most in-depth look to-date on the subject, and it shows that New York City fared better in the wake of the Great Recession than the rest of the nation. However, concerns remain regarding the type of jobs created and the wages they pay.

The analysis highlights how New York City lost fewer jobs and recovered faster than the country at large. In total, between 2008 and 2016, New York City added 529,400 jobs — an increase of 14 percent from the pre-recession peak. The report also highlights concerning data about the type of jobs created, including the increasing number of New Yorkers employed in low-wage industries, which have seen no wage growth since the end of the Great Recession, and the rise of part-time jobs.

“New York City must continue to lead economically, socially, and culturally. What this first-of-its-kind report shows is that our bounce-back was faster and more robust than the rest of the country. We obviously have big challenges — an affordability crisis, rising income inequality, and more. But this in-depth look demonstrates that New York City is thriving in a way that other cities and states aren’t,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “As always, we have more to do. Too many New Yorkers are working in low-wage industries, and we need to redouble efforts to ensure that economic fairness reaches every corner of the City. We’re also facing unprecedented threats from Washington and an unstable political climate. We have to be vigilant if we’re going to keep New York City on top in this century — and the next.”

Comptroller Stringer’s analysis explores how New York City’s job market contracted during the Great Recession and subsequently expanded, and compares this data with national trends between 2008 and 2016. Specific findings include:

New York City’s Job Market Suffered Less than the Nation’s — New York City’s recession was both shorter and shallower than the nation’s, underscoring the power of our city’s economy.

  • The Great Recession hit the United States in 2007 and lasted through 2010. New York City began to see the effects of the recession one year later, in 2008, and lasted through 2009;
  • It took New York City just three years to recover the jobs it had lost during the Great Recession — compared to six years for the United States as a whole;
  • New York City lost 100,100 jobs between the pre-recession high in 2008 and the 2009 low — a decrease of 2.6 percent. The United States, in contrast, lost 7.6 million jobs from 2007 through 2010, a drop of 5.5 percent;
  • From 2009 to 2016, the City added 629,500 jobs — a gain of 17 percent. All told, from the city’s pre-recession high in 2008 to 2016, New York City gained 529,400 jobs, a boost of 14 percent;
  • Between 2010 and 2016, the country as a whole gained 13.9 million jobs, for an increase of 10.7 percent. Overall, between the pre-recession peak of 2007 and 2016, the United States gained 6.3 million jobs — representing growth of just 4.6 percent;
  • Looking at just New York City residents — as opposed to jobs in New York City held by both residents and commuters — the difference is less pronounced. It took five years for the New York City resident job market to recover, and the net job growth from 2008 to 2016 was 5.9 percent.

Most Jobs Created in NYC’s Economic Recovery Were in Low-Wage Industries — These industries have consistently seen flat real wage growth, which means while more New Yorkers are employed, they aren’t seeing their paychecks expand with the economy.

  • More than half of all jobs lost in New York City during the Great Recession — 54,000 out of 103,000, or roughly 53 percent — were in high-wage industries, which paid an average of $187,000 per year in 2015;
  • During the economic recovery, however, just 22.7 percent of new jobs were in high-wage industries. The majority — 359,000 jobs, or 55.7 percent of those created — were in low-wage industries, which pay, on average, $42,000 a year;
  • Overall, between the pre-recession peak in 2008 and 2016, jobs in low-wage industries accounted for 61.5 percent of all the new private-sector jobs created in the City;
  • In addition, adjusting for inflation, low-wage industries haven’t seen any wage growth between the beginning of the recovery in 2009 and 2015. Medium-wage jobs have seen wages grow 7.4 percent on average and the high-wage sector has seen 9.3 percent average wage growth.

Commuters Hold Higher-Paying Jobs than Many New Yorkers — Commuters held slightly more than one-fifth of all jobs in New York City both before and after the recession.

  • In 2008, before the recession, commuters held roughly 813,000 jobs. After the recession, in 2015, commuters held 899,000 jobs in New York City;
  • The industries with high concentrations of commuters — financial activities (35 percent), information (31 percent), government (26 percent), construction (26 percent), and professional and business services (26 percent) — had average salaries of $124,000;
  • In contrast, those with high concentrations of New York City residents — education and health services (84 percent), wholesale and retail trade (84 percent), other services (87 percent), and leisure and hospitality (89 percent) — had average salaries of $49,000.

Unemployment has Fallen, but New Jobs have not been Broadly Distributed — and Concerns About Part-Time Jobs Remain — The City’s unemployment rate reached an all-time low of 4.0 percent in March 2017. This success, however, is somewhat undercut by concerns about part-time jobs and the distribution of new jobs.

  • In 2007, prior to the recession, New York City’s unemployment rate was 5 percent. It reached a high of 9.5 percent in 2010, and fell to 5.2 percent in 2016. As of March 2017, New York City’s unemployment was at 4.0 percent — the lowest rate ever recorded;
  • Not all segments of the population, however, are sharing in this success:
  • Black New Yorkers — who had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in 2007, the highest in the city — have continued to face high unemployment. As of the first quarter of 2017, that rate was 7.1 percent. Black New Yorkers’ unemployment rate has also been the most sensitive to economic fluctuations;
  • As of the first quarter of 2017, 4 percent of New York City’s labor force over 55 years old were unemployed — still above the pre-recession low of 3.3 percent. In contrast, those aged 16-24 and 25-54 have unemployment rates below their pre-recession lows;
  • New Yorkers without high school diplomas, who faced an unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in 2007, have fared quite well in the recovery. As of the first quarter of 2017, they had an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, down 3.6 percentage points from the pre-recession low;
  • While part-time work typically increases during a recession — and it certainly did in New York City — that trend is expected to reverse during the ensuing recovery. But from 2009 to 2016, the number of part-time employees in New York City continued to grow. Specifically:
  • As of 2016, the number of part-time private-sector workers in the city had grown 36,225 — up 9 percent from 2008, before the recession struck New York;
  • Certain industries saw significant increase in the number of part-time employees from 2008 to 2016, including retail trade (32.5 percent), bars and restaurants (39.5%), healthcare and social services (9 percent), professional and business services (15.6 percent), and information (76.3 percent).

To read the full analysis, click here.

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