New York City has been whipped around over the past couple of months, and though the number of jobs has declined since August, the naked city is still near a record-high figure of 3,887,100 jobs as of the end of October.
Health services remains the largest industry by employment, with 601,600 positions, or 16 percent of the total jobs. That just beats out trade, transport and utilities with 15 percent (thank those retail workers for that), and government (certain to remain in the top three despite all of the fiscal cliff talk) with 14 percent. The biggest gainer in terms of absolute numbers has been leisure and hospitality which has added more than 100,000 positions in the past 10 years alone.
On the other end of the spectrum is manufacturing, which, not surprisingly, has been slammed hard and now makes up just 2 percent of total jobs, or 73,900 positions (as recently as 1997, there were more than 265,000 positions in the field). Professional and business services, along with information, have certainly shored up the office side of the employment equation recently, thanks to a wide variety of TAMI (technology/advertising/media/information) businesses.
And though making up just 4 percent of the New York City jobs (170,300 positions, down from the pre-recession peak of almost 190,000), securities remains vitally important (making up around 7 percent of the local tax revenue, according to the New York State comptroller). Our market is most definitely healthier than many others and has become more diversified, with health care and technology becoming such an important part of the equation. The short-term (but major) problem for both New York City and rest of the country is the fiscal cliff.
Just as importantly for New York City, however, will be the regulatory cliff, which could force those firms directly and indirectly involved with any financial company to cut back and risk our near-record jobs number. If these issues are resolved in a competent manner (one can always hope), look out for a very strong 2013 in New York City.
Robert Sammons, Cassidy Turley