The Partnership compiled updated indicators of the city’s economic progress in its recovery from COVID-19. While a long road lies ahead, increases in employment, new business creation, sales tax revenue and public transit ridership highlight improvements in the city’s economic health in recent weeks.
Unemployment Rates, August
- NYC: 16.0%, down from 19.9% in July
- NYS: 12.5%, down from 15.9% in July
- US: 8.4%, down from 10.2% in July
- New York City employment increased by 148,000 individuals in August 2020, from 3.21 million in July to 3.35 million in August.
- Private sector industries with the largest employment growth in August included:
- Arts and entertainment: 15% increase from July
- Accommodation and food services: 7%
- Transportation: 4%
- Construction: 4%
- New York City collected $577 million in sales tax in August.
- Up 2% from July and the highest month of local sales tax collections since March.
- Delinquencies on real estate property tax payments for the first quarter of the current city fiscal year were 4.7%, up slightly from 4.0% during the same period in 2019.
- The increase in delinquencies was smaller than many anticipated, according to the City Comptroller’s office.
- 36,465 initial unemployment claims filed during the week ending Sept. 12.
- Down from a peak of 184,525 claims filed during the week ending April 11.
- The number of initial unemployment claims has hovered around 35,000 claims for five weeks.
- 84% of unemployment claims have been filed by residents outside of Manhattan.
- 189 business licenses were issued in August, up 2% from 186 licenses issued in July.
- The number of new business licenses has increased for three consecutive months and is up 226% since May, suggesting business confidence has improved.
Note: Includes licenses issued by the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
- Subway ridership surpassed 1.68 million riders on Friday, Sept. 11, the highest level since mid-March.
- While subway ridership is 69% below 2019 levels as of Thursday, Sept. 17, weekday ridership has averaged 1.54 million in September.
- Up 16% from an average of 1.32 million in August and up 244% from 447,000 in April.
- Bus ridership surpassed 1.36 million on Wednesday, Aug. 26, the highest level since mid-March.
- Bus ridership declined at the beginning of September due to the resumption of fare collection beginning Aug. 31.
- Bus ridership was 1.1 million as of Sept. 17, down 51% from the same day a year ago but up 6% from the preceding week.
- Long Island Rail Road ridership was 90,600 on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the highest level since mid-March.
- While ridership is 73% below 2019 levels as of Sept. 17, average weekday ridership has increased each week since late April.
- Metro-North ridership was 61,500 on Sept. 17, down 79% from the same day a year ago.
- Average weekday ridership has increased each week since early August and is up by more than 350% since early April.
Bridges and Tunnels
- Vehicles traveling via MTA-operated bridges and tunnels totaled 848,000 as of Sept. 17, down 9% from the same day a year ago.
- The number of vehicles using MTA-operated bridges and tunnels during weekdays, which declined to a low of 285,600 during the second week of April, has recovered more quickly than other modes of transportation.