More than 500,000 New York City residents are still unemployed six months into the lingering coronavirus pandemic, a sobering new report released Tuesday revealed.
The state Labor Department data showed that 14 percent of city residents — one in 7 — were unemployed in September. That’s 538,694 Big Apple residents.
The jobless rate is ten percentage points higher than in September of 2019, when the city unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent.
Still, the rate was a slight improvement from August, when 16 percent or 638,767 residents were jobless.
The worst of the pandemic’s impact on jobs was in June, when 20 percent or 810,177 city residents were unemployed.
New York State’s unemployment rate decreased from 12.5% in August to 9.7% in September, a noticeable bump.
But New York State’s unemployment rate of 9.7 percent was considerably higher than the national jobless rate of 7.9 percent, and the sixth highest among states and 5.8 percentage points higher than the Empire State’s unemployment rate a year earlier, noted E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy.
He did say the month-to-month 2.8 percent point drop in the state’s unemployment was a positive development, the second biggest improvement among states — trailing only New Jersey’s gain of 4.4 percentage points last month.
However, McMahon cautioned that digging New York’s economy out of the pandemic-fueled recession will likely be a long slog.
He said New York has 1 million fewer jobs than September of 2019 — second only to the 1.3 million jobs that disappeared in much populous California.
“In the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic, private-sector employment in New York was still recovering more slowly than in other states from the after-effects of the broad spring shutdowns of normal business and social life,” McMahon said in a blog post after reviewing US Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
New York’s private sector job count was down 12.1 percent lower than a year ago.
“The Empire State’s year-to-year decrease was almost double the national decline of 6.9 percent. Only one other state—tourism-intensive Hawaii—was further below its 2019 employment level, with a decline of 21.5 percent,” McMahon said.
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