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Private Sector Jobs At All-time High, Led by Professional & Financial Services

Long-Term Unemployment Down Almost 60% From 2010 Peak

City Spending up 7.5%, Slightly Ahead of Revenues

The Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization, today released its latest Dashboard NYC, a quarterly snapshot of key economic and quality-of-life indicators. The data for the fourth quarter of 2015 shows a historic high in jobs—4.3 million—and an unemployment rate at 4.9%, almost reaching pre-recession lows.

Employment in New York City rose 2.3% in the past year, driven by job increases in almost every sector, including Financial Services, Professional Services, Construction and Healthcare. The only sector that saw a decline in jobs was the manufacturing sector.

Long-term unemployment continued to decline. There was a 27.6% decrease in the number of long-term unemployed from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. The high-mark for long-term unemployment was the fourth quarter of 2010, and the city is down close to 60% from that peak. There were 127,000 unfilled jobs in New York City at the close of the fourth quarter of 2015—based on publicly listed job postings—a total that is up 23% from the end of 2014. This is a positive indicator that employers are looking to hire.

Despite the positive job indicators, New York still trails some competitor cities in employment growth, particularly San Jose, San Francisco and Dallas. Job growth in New York, however, is outpacing other cities such as Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago.

There has been a slight slowdown in venture capital investment, which is down 1% in Downstate New York from the fourth quarter of 2014. The downturn is likely just a blip on the radar since, when you consider all of 2015, Downstate New York received the most venture capital funding it has received since the tech bubble in 2000. The decline in venture capital investment locally is also not as steep as some competitor regions, a good sign of the strength of New York City’s economy. For comparison, year-over-year venture capital investment in Silicon Valley is down 40.2% and in Massachusetts it is down 45.2%.

In terms of city fiscal conditions, city spending is up 7.5% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015. That is slightly ahead of city revenue during the same period, which is only up 6.5%. The city budget operating surplus for the period October-December 2015 is $2.8 billion, which is a $29 million increase over the same period in 2014.

“The city’s private sector economy is still humming along, and the city budget is solid, but uncertain global economic conditions projected for the year to come, along with significant new expenses in city health, pension and debt service obligations, are reasons for caution,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

Dashboard NYC was launched in 2014 to measure the progress or slippage in the city’s private and public sectors.

The fourth quarter Dashboard can be found, along with all previous dashboards, at pfnyc.org/dashboard.

About the Partnership for New York City:
The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leadership and its largest private sector employers. We work together with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to promote economic growth and maintain the city’s position as a global center of commerce and innovation. Through the Partnership Fund for New York City, the Partnership contributes directly to projects that create jobs, improve economically distressed communities and stimulate new business creation.