Unemployment in New York City, Jersey City and Newark fell to 8% in July, nearly half the 15.4% unemployment rate in the metro area during the first year of the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
Experts caution the steady economic recovery is not a guarantee, amidst a fresh coronavirus wave brought on by the highly infectious delta variant.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, and we don’t know how these chapters are going to be written in the coming months. As with the nation, the impact of COVID continues to be key,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, told the New York Post.
New York City’s 8% unemployment rate is higher than the national average of 5.7% but the city was also one of the hardest hit areas when it came to economic fallout due to its reliance on tourism and hospitality industries. Those sectors, which have yet to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, are holding back a full economic recovery.
“The picture is that New York City, since early this year, started to regain jobs, and it’s regained jobs along the lines of what the nation has also. The big thing to keep in mind is that New York City last spring was hit a lot harder in the employment decline,” said James Parrott, an economist at the New School.
Overall, New York City added 558,300 new jobs in July 2021, compared to July 2020, a growth of 6.5% and higher than the national average of 5.3%.