Jobs Are Only Barely Starting To Trickle Back In New York

Among the hardest-hit cities from the Covid pandemic was New York: it was a hotbed for cases early on, much of the city relies on tourism and hospitality for income, and the Mayor - well, he's the slightest bit in over his head.

As we move past the one-year anniversary of when those in government finally figured out that Covid could be a problem, the country - including New York - is finally starting to re-open. But the pace of that re-opening is modest, at best, the New York Times pointed out this week. 

While trends are moving in the right direction - for example, New York City’s official unemployment rate declined slightly to 11.4 percent in April, from 11.7 percent in March - the speed with which the recovery has taken hold isn't accelerating anywhere near as quickly as the city was shut down. 

Of those additions, 15,000 restaurant jobs came back last month and the city's restaurants had 3 times as many employees last month as they did in April 2020, during the worst of the shutdown. 

Barbara Byrne Denham, a senior economist at Oxford Economics, told the NYT: “For the restaurants, we have two very strong forces at work. Most of them are allowed to reopen, and many people are very eager to eat out.”

Heading into May, New York has added back about 375,000 of the 900,000 total jobs it lost due to Covid. Economists think it will still take "at least a couple of years" for those numbers to go back to normal. James Parrott, an economist with the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, thinks a full recovery may not come until 2023 or 2024. He called April's gains in New York a "relatively strong rebound". 

New York had "been on a decade-long expansion that produced more jobs and lowers unemployment than at any time on record" heading into the pandemic. Unemployment was below 4% for 11 straight months and wages were rising at a "robust rate" for several years. 

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