The NYC Jobs Report—Finally


O.K.—I admit it. I was really getting itchy, like serious-addict itchy.

Except for the early part of each year, one can count on the local job numbers to be released on the third Thursday of each month—that is, until we had a federal government shutdown! So since Sept. 20, when the August numbers were released, there has been silence. But alas, the clouds parted, and the numbers along with some revisions were released for both September and October (one could look at it as almost like a bonus round of figures). So without further ado, let’s take a look at where our fair city—New York City, that is—stands with the job count.

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After a “shutdown dip” in September, the total job count rebounded nicely in October with a rise of 7,900 positions to close the month with a total of 3.979,000 jobs—another record high. Almost all sectors were up save for government (no big surprise) and the leisure and hospitality subsector of amusement  and recreation (slight surprise due to the severity of the dip, though it tends to happen this time each year, and seasonal adjustment issues may be at work, so no need to panic).

Now let’s take a look at those job-using sectors.

  • The information sector (publishing except Internet plus broadcasting and movie production) has had a rough slog of it over the 12 months with the job count dipping by 1,500 positions, though it did climb ever so slightly in October. It remains up by about 10,000 positions from the great recession era.
  • Both banking and securities recorded modest increases for the month. Over the past 12 months, banking has managed to score a 1,600 position increase, while securities saw a slightly smaller rise of 1,200 positions. Both remain below their pre-great recession levels with securities still down by around 23,000 jobs.
  • Insurance, quite frankly, is about as steady an industry as they come over the past few years—neither too up nor too down. With 54,600 jobs, it is up just minimally from one month or one year ago and about the same as it has been for the last eight years. It did climb above 60,000, but that was back around the turn of the (21st) century.
  • After flirting with a near record in July of this year, real estate positions have eased a bit, though they were up for the month. Change over the longer term does remain minimal really, floating somewhere between 114,000 and 121,000 positions since 2000 and currently standing at 119,300.
  • Business services (administrative and support, employment services), after recording somewhat steady and hefty gains on a monthly basis earlier this year, has stumbled a bit recently. Though up for October, it is actually down for the past 12 months by 100 positions. The real dent has been in the employment services category, with clerical workers actually up year over year.
  • Professional services, with a few minor exceptions, has continued to climb ever higher since the great recession. Currently with 363,600 jobs in the category, it is up by a very healthy 11,100 jobs over the past 12 months. There’s no big surprise that the subcategories of computer systems design and advertising are the fast movers.

On a jobs basis, the city continues to perform pretty darn well. It has certainly blown through the prediction of 41,000 new private sector jobs for all of 2013 (currently, we’re up by 89,500 positions)! It eventually comes down to “what types of jobs are we creating?” and “how much do they pay?” and “are we all better off?” and “have we created a bifurcated economy?” doesn’t it? Those are a lot of questions to answer in such a short column. But while the answer to those questions could be better, there are a lot of cities around the country that most certainly envy our position. We just must continue to build upon the good news.