Research Special Topics

New York City COVID-19 Economic Impact Update

June 2020


The Partnership has compiled recent statistics to inform our members of the city’s economic standing as we prepare for the first stage of reopening. This information reflects both the challenges and the need for business leadership and renewed commitment to secure the city’s future. New York City will likely achieve the metrics required to reopen our economy in the next few weeks, the last region in the state to end the 11-week COVID-19 PAUSE.

Key Statistics

COVID-19 Cases

  • New York City accounts for 8% of US cases and 18% of US deaths, as of data released Sunday, June 28 at 11 p.m.
  • NYC accounts for 2% of global cases and 4% of global deaths.

Unemployment Rates, May

  • NYC: 18.3% unemployment rate.
  • NYS: 14.5% unemployment rate.
  • US: 13.3% unemployment rate.

County rates:

  • Bronx: 21.6% unemployment rate.
  • Kings: 18.2% unemployment rate.
  • New York: 13.7% unemployment rate.
  • Queens: 19.9% unemployment rate.
  • Richmond: 16.5% unemployment rate.

Note: Data are preliminary and subject to revision. County unemployment rates are non-seasonally adjusted, all other data is seasonally adjusted.

Unemployment Claims

  • 44,785 initial unemployment claims filed during the week ending June 20.
    • Down 10% from 50,013 claims filed during the preceding week.
  • 1.33 million unemployment claims filed in New York City between March 8 and June 20.
    • 1,392% increase over the same period in 2019
  • 85% of unemployment claims have been filed by residents of the outer boroughs.

Additional Notes

From an IBO report:

  • IBO expects a $9.5 billion revenue shortfall in fiscal years 2020 and 2021; the De Blasio administration estimates the shortfall will be $7.4 billion over the same period.
  • IBO projects city unemployment rate will average 9.8% in 2020 and 10.9% in 2021, more than twice as high as the average rate of 4.0% in 2019.
  • Unemployment rate projected to average 5.5% in 2024, still exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
  • Hotel tax revenues forecasted to decline 24% from FY 2019 to $479 million in FY 2020; hotel tax receipts are projected to remain below pre-pandemic collections until at least FY 2025.

NYC health care providers face significant losses:

  • Because federal emergency relief funds were not allocated using a need-based formula, New York state healthcare providers received only 6.5% of funds allocated through May 14, despite the state accounting for 22% of US confirmed cases and 30% of deaths.
  • The city’s academic hospital systems are losing some $350 million to $450 million a month each as they respond to a surge of patients with the novel coronavirus due to increased labor costs, capital and equipment expenses and dramatic losses in revenue from postponed elective procedures.

From a Citizen’s Budget Commission report:

  • Following the 2008 recession, the number of NYC full-time and full-time equivalent personnel decreased 5% from a previous high of 311,018 in FY 2008 to 293,550 in fiscal year 2012.
  • Since the trough in municipal employment in FY 2012, employment grew 11% to reach an all-time high of 326,739 at the end of fiscal year 2019.
  • City government has implemented a partial hiring freeze; however, the Executive Budget does not project a multiyear headcount reduction.

According to data from real estate data provider PropertyShark:

  • There were 276 residential real estate sales in New York City during the fourth week of May, down 49% from 538 sales during the same week in 2019.
  • City residential real estate sales were down 52% in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

According to the latest Small Business Administration update on PPP funding:

  • As of loans approved through May 30, 2020, New York state small businesses have been approved for 290,451 loans, or 6% of loans nationwide.
  • New York state businesses have been approved for $37.3 billion in loans or 7% of total award nationwide.
  • New York state small businesses have been approved for about $100,000 of PPP funding per confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state, the lowest amount in the US.
    • Florida businesses received $551,000 per case; Wyoming, Vermont, Oregon, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii all received over $1 million per case.

According to the latest US Census Small Business Pulse Survey, fielded May 31-June 6:

  • 11% of small businesses in the NY-NJ-PA MSA reported an increase in operating revenues in the past week, compared to 17% of small businesses nationwide.
  • 44% of small businesses in the NY MSA reported closing for at least one day in the past week, compared to 27% nationwide.
  • Only 8% of NY MSA small businesses increased the number of paid employees during the past week; 18% decreased paid staff and the remainder (74%) had no change in employment.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce PPP Survey

  • 92% of Brooklyn small businesses surveyed by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce report receiving PPP loans through two rounds of funding, however:
    • 46% of Brooklyn small businesses missed their commercial rent payment in May.
    • One-third of Brooklyn businesses say they will permanently close if rent relief is not provided.