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N.Y. has recovered private-sector jobs lost during pandemic, state data shows

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Nearly four years after the onset of COVID-19 forced many businesses to close and threw thousands of people out of work, New York appears to have recovered the number of private-sector jobs lost during the pandemic, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor.

Preliminary seasonally adjusted figures show the number of private-sector jobs in the state increased in January by 47,000, for a total of 8,346,200 jobs statewide. New York had about 8,333,800 private-sector jobs before the pandemic hit in March 2020, data shows.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office on Thursday added that at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown in April 2020, the number of statewide jobs in the private sector reached a 30-year low of 6.4 million. According to the governor’s office, 1,935,600 jobs have been recovered since then.

The state’s current unemployment rate is 4.5%. It was over 10% in 2020. New York City’s current rate is at 5.2%.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 4.6% in December 2023 to 4.5% in January 2024, while the labor force, seasonally adjusted, decreased by 9,100, the state Department of Labor said.

New York has generally recovered from the pandemic slower than the U.S. as a whole, as the country at large recovered the number of jobs lost in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of private-sector jobs in New York is based on a payroll survey of businesses conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“New York is back, and with our historic recovery and record-breaking 8.3 million jobs, my administration is moving full-steam ahead to keep creating good-paying jobs that help New Yorkers build a future here in our state,” Hochul said in a statement Thursday.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office released a report last month saying the state’s finances have stabilized from the disruption caused by the pandemic, though fiscal risks and challenges remain.

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