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Partnership for New York City Releases Third Quarter Economic & Quality-of-Life Indicators

Dashboard NYC Shows City Remains Strong, but Lags Competitors in Rate of Growth

Uptick in Violent Crime and Homelessness Remain Top Municipal Concerns

The Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization, today released Dashboard NYC, an overview of key economic and quality-of-life indicators that is published quarterly. The data shows continued economic growth – the city is adding private sector jobs and attracting investment – but there are a few troubling signals. New York is outpaced by some domestic competitor cities when it comes to employment growth and venture capital investment. The dashboard highlights a troubling quality-of-life trend: violent crime is up.

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

Overall,  the city’s economic health is strong. Year over year, there has been a 2.2% increase in the total number of jobs, with a corresponding 1.4% decrease in unemployment. Healthcare, business services and the leisure and hospitality industries saw large increases in numbers of jobs. Venture capital investment to fuel start-ups has increased 3% year-over-year, with a particular boom in software and IT services, where investment has increased 217.2% compared to this time last year.

Despite these positive indicators, New York still trails behind competitor cities in key categories. For example, New York’s labor participation rate is at 70%, which trails London’s rate of 78%. This means that a smaller percentage of the working age population are employed or actively looking for a job.  On the domestic front, job growth is more robust in cities like  San Jose, San Francisco, Dallas and Boston than in New York. When it comes to venture capital investment,  Massachusetts, Los Angeles/Orange County, Silicon Valley, Texas, and Illinois are all seeing significantly higher percentage increases than New York.

The Bloomberg Index shows that the combined share price of 100 of the largest New York companies is down 5.5% compared to this time last year. This is largely a reflection of stock market volatility.

On the housing and construction front, construction permits are down 23.6% year-over-year. This drop is largely due to accelerated permitting that took place prior to the July 1st expiration of the 421-a tax abatement for residential construction and uncertainty over the future of this program.

When it comes to quality of life indicators, the quarter say a 7.8% increase in violent crime — the first increase since the Partnership began tracking this data last year.  The number of homeless individuals in shelters is also up, with a 2.8% increase from this time last year.

“The city continues to add private sector jobs and attract business investment at a steady pace, but we face growing competition from rival jurisdictions that want to lure both startups and established companies away from New York,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “When it comes to city government, there is an uptick in spending that has to be watched. Today, we have surplus tax revenues and can afford some extra expenditures, but when we encounter the inevitable economic downturn, there could be a problem.”

The third quarter Dashboard, and all previous dashboards, can be found at pfnyc.org/dashboard.