New York managed to tie the nation’s private-sector job growth rate in July—but compared to the U.S. as a whole, the Empire State remains much further below its pre-recession employment level, according to preliminary estimates in today’s monthly jobs report from the state Labor Department.
Measured on a seasonally adjusted basis, there were about 7.5 million workers on private payrolls in New York last month, an increase of 0.6 percent from June. The national private jobs count was up 0.6 percent, to roughly 124.8 million. By historical standards, 0.6 percent in a single month is a very high rate of growth—in New York’s case, higher than recorded in any pre-pandemic month since May 2015. But even if that pace continues, private payrolls in New York State won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until January 2023. By contrast, the U.S. as a whole has been adding private jobs at a pace that will produce a full private-sector employment recovery by early next year.
As shown below, after dropping far below 2010 levels during the economic shutdown of April 2020, employment as of last month had reached mid-2013 levels. The U.S. as a whole suffered a less severe job loss and has recovered to the employment level of late 2017.
Measured on a year-to-year basis without seasonal adjustment, private employment across the country is up very sharply from the same month in 2020, when pandemic lockdowns were only beginning to loosen. In New York, the year-to-year job count last month was up 7 percent over July 2020, while the national growth rate (from a much less severe decline) was 5.8 percent. For comparison purposes, a better starting point is the employment levels for the same month in 2019, ahead of the pandemic. Compared to July 2019, New York is still down 786,600 jobs last month, a net decrease of 9.4 percent. National employment was down just 2.8 percent from the 2019 level.