Work force numbers promising, but worrisome


Jobs are slowly returning to New York, but still, they’re returning at a pace that’s out-clipping the rest of the nation.

More than 29,400 jobs were added to the private sector in January compared to the month before, increasing the state total by 0.4 percent to 7.3 million. That’s better than the country’s 0.1 percent growth over the same time.

Year-over-year, however, it’s a much different story. The unemployment rate in New York City is 12.6 percent — worse than what it was in December — and nearly four times the rate it was a year ago. Statewide, unemployment is up to 8.8 percent, compared to 3.8 percent before the pandemic.

New York City has lost 626,400 jobs compared to a year ago, a drop of more than 15 percent. That’s a huge chunk of the overall 1 million jobs lost in the state over the same period, accounting for a 12 percent fall.

Most of those losses remain in the leisure and hospitality industry, where nearly 365,000 jobs were erased statewide. Also taking significant hits are transportation and utilities, and educational and health services, according to the state’s labor department.

New York City might lead the state in job losses, but the Watertown-Fort Drum area next to Lake Ontario boasted the most promising numbers where just 1,100 jobs were lost, representing 4 percent of its work force.


Tax collections worse than the Great Recession

New York’s tax collectors had far less money to count last year as a 10 percent decline in revenue equalled a $1.8 billion hit to the bottom line compared to 2019.

“This report shows how deeply the COVID-19 pandemic cut into municipal finances,” state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, in a release. “Local governments depend heavily on sales taxes as a major source of revenue, but as New Yorkers stayed home and bought less in their communities during the pandemic, it created significant shortfalls.”

Before everything shut down in March 2020, tax collections were actally up near 5 percent. The shutdown, however, caused those numbers to plummet more than 27 percent, only to rebound in the fall as many businesses deemed “non-essential” were slowly allowed to reopen to some capacity.

But even while money was scarce in some sectors — like restaurants and other eateries — revenue did climb in other areas like beer, wine and liquor stores.

New York City revenues dropped nearly 19 percent in 2020, from $8.2 billion to $6.7 billion.

Tax revenue was up nearly 11 percent in January, and continued to climb the next month by 7.5 percent. However, city collections dropped by 12 percent in March, and peaked at a 46 percent loss in June compared to the year before.

Although the city did have some better months after that, losses around 40 percent in both September and December cost the five boroughs billions in the end.


Co-op owners have new website to use

The Association of Riverdale Cooperatives & Condominiums has a new website:

The enhanced online presence boasts a streamlined look, and includes a helpful search function for many of the materials the advocacy group creates, organizers said. That’s become especially important with changes caused by the pandemic.

Originally published March 18, 2021