According to the Mayor’s Office, the city experienced a growth of 100,000 jobs from December 2020 to March 2021, and expects to gain 400,000 more to reach a total of 4.5 million jobs by the end of 2021. Even as economic indicators have been headed in the right direction in recent months — including significant job growth — amid public vaccination, some easing of restrictions, and a massive infusion of federal dollars, New York City’s economy remains devastated, particularly certain industries and sectors reliant on tourism, commuting, and recreation. If those positive projections hold, the city will still be hundreds of thousands of jobs below its pre-pandemic heights, when unemployment was near historic lows at around 4% and the local economy was, generally speaking, humming.
Not only does the job loss impact individuals and families, but also the city’s tax revenue. While the city’s budget has been plugged by the federal government, long-term deficits remain, as do questions about the city’s economic health, including the availability of jobs for New Yorkers who need and want them. Just as pre-pandemic, there are also questions about the quality of the jobs that do exist or may become available, and about whether enough New Yorkers are qualified for many of the jobs that are on offer.