In this article, I briefly explain how New York City has changed in the decade following the Great Recession.
The Great Recession, which started in late 2007, resulted in more people losing their jobs than any other period since the Great Depression. Mercifully, the recession came to an end in Q3 2009, but the impact of this devastating economic shock continued to affect both the economy and global politics for years to come.
While the recession and its subsequent effects were not felt equally around the world, recovery in the city of New York has been profound. More New Yorkers are employed and earning higher wages than ever before, and apartment / real estate prices continue to rise.
Population: New York City’s population has increased quite considerably in the last 10 years, mainly from people immigrating to the US and settling in New York. Of the city’s many foreign-born communities, the Chinese demographic is the largest; with people from the Dominican Republic being second. This influx of new Americans has helped to revive the outer boroughs, especially the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Jobs & Wages:
Unemployment remains very low in the city as a whole, with a rate of 4.1% in October of 2019. While Manhattan remains the epicenter, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx have outperformed it in employment growth. As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in New York City will be $15 per hour. This is in line with the trend of increasing wages across most sectors in the city.
Labor Markets: Big employers in New York City’s post-recession economy include securities, technology, health care, education, hospitality & leisure, and tourism. Some of those industries have rebounded significantly and are now at the forefront of our economy.
Real Estate: The supply of new housing, albeit luxury, is growing at a rate faster than it has in 50 years. While there seems to be an influx of luxury units in every borough, the city’s administration and development leaders continue to struggle to meet the demand for affordable housing. Unfortunately, federal, state and local taxes, including real estate tax incentives, are expiring (i.e. 421-A and J-51 tax abatement programs), and the loss of these subsidies may end up disincentivizing developers from building affordable housing.
In the midst of the financial carnage wrought by the Great Recession, the idea of recovering to an unemployment rate below 5% seemed improbable at best 10 years ago. I think the rebound we have seen speaks to the resilience and tenacity of New Yorkers, and I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring.
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