City Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Level in 7 Years

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Honshu Island , Kansai region ,Osaka
They look like they all have jobs.Photo: John W Banagan/(c) John W Banagan

Good news for the city, and maybe for Mayor de Blasio’s planned reelection bid: New York City’s unemployment rate is finally returning to pre-recession levels, sinking to 5.4 percent. That rate, to be announced by the city comptroller today, is at its lowest in seven years. The city is batting above average compared to the rest of the nation in jobs added, as well, adding 24,700 private-sector jobs throughout the quarter. Each borough of the city has seen its jobless rates fall, including the Bronx, which has declined to 7.2 percent, from 9.2 percent, over the past year.

The report shows that the retail, education, and health-care sectors are flourishing. They’ve quickly become the city’s fastest-growing industries. And the building boom hasn’t hurt, either; as of July, the sector had generated 7,200 jobs, and apparently it’s hard to even find a construction crew that isn’t booked. The financial sector has finally sputtered back to life this past year, adding 5,500 jobs as of July. 

Meanwhile, New York City has become, more than ever, a destination for job seekers. At the midway point of 2015, a record 4.22 million people had flooded into the city to find gainful employment, a historic amount

One important caveat: Over 33,000 job-seekers just gave up on finding a job this year, which gooses the stats a bit. They stopped reporting and collecting unemployment. It’s hard to pinpoint how much of this, exactly, is an aging populace or a simply a discouraged one. However, the employment-to-population ratio is at all-time high of 57.6 percent, which is even better than pre-recession levels.