As the population in New York City reaches an all-time high of 8.5 million people, the number of employees should continue to surpass record levels. The unemployment rate is at 5 percent, down 150 basis points in the last 12 months. Nonfarm employment closed 2015 with 4,250,400 jobs, a 12-month increase of 2.1 percent. Office-using employment—traditionally defined by the financial, professional and business, and information sectors—also increased by a steady 2.3 percent in 2015. The only sectors to experience job loss last year, albeit minimal, were in the manufacturing and retail sectors. Let’s take a look at the top five industries that gained jobs last year.
The fifth largest increase was in information services, up 2,900 jobs in 2015, totaling 186,400 jobs. The motion picture and sound-recording industries added the most jobs as tax incentives are offered to the industry for production.
Financial activities gained the fourth-most jobs with 12,600 added and closed 2015 with a total of 463,400 jobs. This was the largest year-end increase in the financial services industry since 2006, which resulted in the sector leading new leasing activity in Manhattan with 28 percent of transactions.
In third place is the leisure and hospitality sector, which expanded by 13,200 jobs in 2015 and brought the number of employees to 427,400. The industry continues to expand as tourism in New York City continues to surpass all-time levels, both domestic and foreign.
Professional services gained the second-most jobs—14,800 to be exact—bringing the total number of jobs to 699,600. Employment in these industries tends to react to economic trends and can often lead shifts in the job market with 137,100 jobs gained during the current expansion cycle.
In the top spot, with an increase of 25,000 jobs, is the education and health care sector, which closed 2015 with a total of 893,200 jobs. This increase is attributed to a 3.8 percent increase in the number of jobs in health care and social assistance industries. As these sectors are typically driven by demographics rather than economic conditions, expect the number of jobs to continue to rise with population growth.