Discussion Paper

Good News or Bad on New York City Jobs?


Abstract: Unlike much of the nation, New York City has seen a robust rebound in employment since the recession. In early 2012, employment here reached 3.86 million, the largest number of jobs ever recorded. Yet the city?s unemployment rate has risen in recent months and is now 10 percent?its peak during the recession?and well above the 5 percent rate seen before the downturn. This lack of improvement reflects the fact that the number of employed residents of the city has not rebounded at all from its losses during the 2008-09 downturn. While commuters from outside the city have always been a part of the employment scene, particularly in Manhattan, the recent divergence between the brisk growth in jobs in the city and the lack of growth in the number of employed residents in the city is unprecedented. Moreover, this gap between the two measures continues to widen, raising some questions as to how strong New York City?s recovery actually is. In this post, we explore several alternative explanations for the lack of growth in the employment of city residents in the face of a sharp recovery and expansion of jobs. While there are several potential explanations, the stagnation of resident employment remains largely a puzzle.

Keywords: New York City; labor; employment; establishment survey; household survey;

JEL Classification: J00;R1;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2012-08-13

Number: 20120813