Research Special Topics

Signs of Progress: NYC’s Economic Recovery

December 2022


New York City closed 2022 on uneven footing. The city once again boasts over 4 million private sector jobs, business creation is strong, tourists are returning, and the city’s startups are attracting robust venture capital funding. Yet unemployment remains high—particularly among younger New Yorkers and New Yorkers of color—and a recent decline in job postings suggests the city may struggle to sustain a solid pace of employment growth in 2023.

Key Statistics

Recovery Status


  • 5.3% unemployment rate in December, up from 5.2% in November.
  • 58,000 unemployed young workers aged 16 to 24 in New York City as of Q4 2022, up 84% from 31,500 in Q4 2019.
    • Youth unemployment tends to increase sharply between April and July, as high school and college students seek summer employment.

Note: Monthly unemployment rates reflect seasonally-adjusted data to enable more accurate comparisons between months; quarterly unemployment rates reflect non-adjusted data.


  • New York City added 20,300 private sector jobs in December and 42,900 in Q4 2022, pushing citywide private sector employment above 4 million for the first time since March 2020.
    • Private sector employment is down 87,400 jobs, or 2.1%, from February 2020.
  • Several of the city’s major industries have higher employment today than pre-pandemic:
    • Health care: 880,600 jobs in December 2022, up 57,100 jobs, or 7%, from February 2020.
    • Professional services: 460,600 jobs in December 2022, up 14,600 jobs, or 3%, from February 2020.
    • Information: 242,300 jobs in December 2022, up 13,100 jobs, or 3%, from February 2020.
  • The city’s arts and entertainment, accommodation and food services, and retail industries—which accounted for 20% of private employment pre-pandemic—have a combined employment deficit of 103,900 jobs relative to February 2020.

Job Postings

  • New York City employers listed an average of 161,700 full-time job postings in the three months ending January 2023, down 11% from 182,600 in the three months ending January 2020.
    • Job posting activity has been steadily declining since June 2022.
  • 9.5% of new job postings were for roles that could be filled by fully remote workers, up from 2.2% in January 2020.
    • The declining share of remote job postings in recent months may reflect slowed hiring among the city’s tech employers or a broader reining in of remote work.


New York City sales tax collections totaled $9.6 billion in 2022.

  • Up 21%—or $1.6 billion—from $7.9 billion in 2021
  • Up 43%—or $2.9 billion—from $6.7 billion in 2020
  • Up 16%—or $1.3 billion—from $8.2 billion in 2019


  • Inflation in the New York metropolitan statistical area (MSA) ticked up from 5.9% in November to 6.3% in December 2022.
    • New York MSA inflation is lower than the U.S. city average (6.5%) but higher than the Chicago (5.5%) and Los Angeles (4.9%) MSAs.

Venture Capital

  • New York City companies attracted $28.2 billion in venture capital funding in 2022, the second highest funding total on record after 2021 ($48 billion raised), per Pitchbook data.
  • New York is closing the gap on Silicon Valley as the world’s premier venture capital hub: in 2018, Silicon Valley companies raised 3.9 times the amount of VC dollars as New York City companies; in 2022, Silicon Valley only raised 2.2 times as much, according to CB Insights.

Business Formation

  • 6,700 new businesses started in New York City in Q2 2022, according to data shared by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
    • 13,600 new businesses started in the first half of 2022.
  • 32,100 new businesses started in New York City during the year ending Q2 2022—meaning one out of every nine businesses in the city opened within this 12-month period—the highest rate of business growth over the past five years.

Return to Office

  • 52% of Manhattan office workers are currently at their workplace on an average weekday as of late January 2023, up from 49% in September 2022
    • The share of office employees that are fully remote dropped from 16% in September 2022 to 10% as of late January.
  • Return to office rates are approaching employers’ expected “new normal” occupancy rates of 56%.
    • Many employers expanded New York City headcount during the pandemic and remain committed to the city.
      40% increased their New York City headcount during the pandemic and 38% maintained headcount levels; only 21% decreased headcount.
    • About half (48%) of employers expect to increase their New York City workforce over the next five years, 45% expect to maintain current headcount, and only 7% expect to reduce headcount.


  • 66.9% occupancy rate in New York City hotels for the four weeks ending February 4, down from 73.4% during the comparable period of 2019, according to data analytics firm STR.
    • Total demand for city hotel rooms was 6.7% lower than the same period pre-pandemic.
    • Note: Temporary and permanent hotel room closures during the pandemic may affect comparisons of occupancy rates.
  • 277,100 average daily visitors to Times Square in December 2022, up 13% from December 2021 but down 19% from December 2019.
  • Broadway shows attracted 195,500 theatergoers and grossed $24 million in sales during the week ending February 5.
    • Attendance declined 22% from 249,700 during the same week in 2019 but up 28% from 152,600 during the same week in 2022.
    • Gross sales declined 15% from $28 million during the same week in 2019 but increased 39% from $17 million during the same week in 2022.



Passenger volumes in New York City area airports—which includes JFK, EWR, LGA, and SWF (New York Stewart International)—reached 11.4 million in December 2022, down only 4% from 11.9 million in December 2019.

  • 3.6 million international travelers in December, down 12% from 4.1 million in September 2019
  • 7.8 million domestic travelers December, unchanged from December 2019


New York City subway weekday ridership averaged 3.5 million during the week ending February 3, down 37% from pre-pandemic.


Weekday bus ridership averaged 1.38 million during the week ending February 3, down 38% from pre-pandemic.


The Long Island Rail Road carried 181,900 weekday riders during the week ending February 3, down 37% from pre-pandemic.


Metro-North carried 163,700 weekday riders during the week ending February 3, down 37% from pre-pandemic.

Bridges and Tunnels

870,800 vehicles traveled via MTA-operated bridges and tunnels during the week ending February 3, down 1% from pre-pandemic.