(The Center Square) – A recent study by The Empire Center shows that New York still lags behind most of the nation in terms of recovering jobs lost at the start of the pandemic.
- By Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor
- June 28th, 2022
- The Roosevelt Island Daily News
Last week, the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank reviewed the most recent state and federal seasonally adjusted employment data. It found the United States would have completed its job recovery from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by now if not for New York.
The information through last month showed the U.S. had recovered 99.8% of the total number of jobs the country had in February 2020, the last month before the COVID public emergency started. That’s roughly 234,000 jobs below the total from 27 months prior.
New York accounted for the gap and then some as the state last month was still down nearly 400,000 jobs compared to February 2020.
“New York’s private job base currently is growing at a rate that won’t achieve a full jobs recovery for another year, in June 2023,” wrote E.J. McMahon, the Empire Center’s founding senior fellow, in a blog post on the institute’s website.
The data also showed only four were worse than New York in terms of higher percentages of job losses in May from the start of the pandemic. The percentage difference in New York was 4.5%.
Of its neighboring states, only Vermont’s 4.9% was worse. New Jersey was within 0.2% of reaching its February 2020 job total, and Massachusetts was down 1.7%. Both Connecticut and Pennsylvania were still down 2.5%.
Nationally, Utah was the national leader, having seen the number of jobs there grow 6.7% beyond what it had in February 2020. Even Texas and Florida, two of the three states larger than New York in terms of population, reported job growth of 3.7% and 3.2%, respectively.
McMahon noted those two states did not follow New York’s course in setting restrictions that either forced businesses to close or severely restricted their operations.
Another troubling economic factor for New York is its work force participation rate, which evaluates the number of people who are either employed or actively seeking work. In May, New York’s participation rate was just 59.8%, well below the national average of 62.3%
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