By COLlive reporter
New York City’s economy continued to outpace the nation in the second quarter of 2015 as each of the five boroughs marked their lowest unemployment rate in seven years.
57.6% of the City’s population was employed, the highest proportion since at least 1976, according to an analysis of the City’s economic performance released on Thursday.
“More New Yorkers are working than at any time in the last forty years and that’s a real plus for our economy,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “But job growth is just one part of the equation: we need to see greater wage growth in the jobs we already have and the ones we are gaining.”
The Comptroller’s analysis found that New York City benefited from a robust labor market in the second quarter:
The City’s unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonality, fell to 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015, the lowest rate since the recession hit in 2008. All boroughs saw their lowest unemployment rates in seven years.
Unemployment in Brooklyn dropped from 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014 to 6.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015.
The City has exceeded its pre-recession peak in job creation. Since the beginning of 2010, private sector jobs In New York City grew by 16.6 percent, or 519,000 new jobs, while nationally, growth was less than 12 percent.
The private sector added over 20,300 new jobs in the second quarter, with medium-wage sectors such as construction, arts and education and wholesale trade, showing the biggest improvement. However, average weekly earnings growth remains sluggish at only 2.5 percent since this time last year.
“There is no question that there has been a recovery from the recession,” says Rabbi Yehoshua Werde, Director of Crown Heights Young Entrepreneurs (CHYE), which supports entrepreneurship and businesses in the Crown Heights Jewish community.
Werde, who created a business work-space at 510 Empire Blvd. as a low cost alternative to a private office, said his organization has seen “many people that are ready to take business risks that they would not have considered several years ago.”
“As a result of the Internet and tech boom, as a community, we are in the midst of an e-commerce boom that has created many new businesses that are employing many in our community,” he told COLlive.com. “And as technology levels the playing field it has become a great point of entry for many in our community into a Career or even a tech startup.”
The report found that soaring venture capital investment, strong commercial real-estate and healthy tourism highlighted the second quarter:
Overall, the City’s economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015, which is below the 4 percent achieved in the first quarter, but still higher than this time last year.
Venture capital investment in the New York metro area rose almost 83 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching over $2.3 billion – the highest second quarter level since 2000.
Prices of condos and co-ops increased in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The number of housing sales rose in Queens even as prices continued to rise – a sign of high demand.
Personal income tax revenues rose 19.5 percent on a year-over-year basis to about $3.2 billion in the second quarter reflecting stock market gains and bonuses. Income taxes withheld from paychecks rose 9.1 percent to over $1.7 billion, the highest second quarter on record.
Average weekday MTA subway ridership grew by more than 94,000 since last year at this time, which typically reflects a boost in the City’s economy and employment.
The hotel occupancy rate in Manhattan was 92.3 percent – the highest spring rate, after last year, in 35 years.