New York City is slowly shaking off the Big Sleep of the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, but the process is going to take a long time – longer than it has for the rest of the country.
According to data gathered by The City news outlet, the city lost nearly one million jobs within weeks in early 2020.
All but essential employers and services were allowed to keep their workers in the offices – and as a result, unemployment jumped from a record low of 3.7 percent before the pandemic, to 20 percent by May 2021.
At present, the city’s unemployment rate remains stuck at 6.2 percent – nearly double the national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.
In July 2021, nearly 80,000 jobs were added to the city; this past July (2022), just 23,000 jobs were added, according to the New York State Department of Labor and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many of those employees, however, remain in their home offices. The number of employees reporting to an office in the city on any given day has now dropped to less than half of those who went to the office before the pandemic.
The worst-hit sector is that of hospitality and leisure, including restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions, currently operating at half of their former capacities.
One of the best survivors is warehousing, with places like Amazon; online shopping and streaming is still taking the lion’s share of the market.