EDC reports lowest citywide unemployment rate since 1976

The unemployment rate across the city has dropped to 4.1 percent, the lowest recorded since 1976, according to the EDC.
By Mark Hallum

The city’s Economic Development Corporation reported unemployment across New York City is at a record low since it began tracking the numbers in 1976.

With the unemployment rate reaching 4.1 percent, EDC CEO James Patchett said this is not only a sign that the local economy continues to grow, but a sign that the middle class is on also on a path to expanding.

“This administration is committed to creating good-paying jobs by equipping New Yorkers to work within the industries of the new economy and enabling them to access a pathway to the middle class,” Patchett said. “Our New York Works plan is paying off as we continue to hit record low unemployment and move the needle on making the city stronger and fairer for all.”

Just this August, the city added about 6,100 private sector jobs with the strongest growth being in education and health services which added 3,200 jobs, according to the EDC.

“Today, we can stand proud of attaining the lowest recorded unemployment rate since 1976,” said City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), the chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “I look forward to continuing to work with EDC to promote initiatives and projects that will create new jobs and career paths, and continue to bolster our city’s economy.”

Despite the enthusiasm of its news release, the EDC is not popping any corks yet.

As the state Department of Labor releases its own findings, the EDC will adjust its numbers to reflect a more accurate assessment of city’s economic health.

A report on New York Works — a 10-year initiative to create 10,000 jobs — administered by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, showed that 2018 was a good year for the city’s employment levels.

Up to 4,775 jobs had been created through selling, leasing and renovating city-owned land to businesses, according to the report released this week which showed 18,925 new employment opportunities had come to the city thanks to investments from City Hall.

About 6,325 jobs were created through funding small businesses and growing industries such as apprentice programs in tech and media, according to the city.

By rezoning parts of the city such as Downtown Far Rockaway, the city created more opportunities for developers and business owners, which increased city-wide employment by 7,050 positions, the 2018 progress report said.

According to professional networking site, LinkedIn, hiring throughout the city was up by 0.7 percent in August over the same month the year prior and had climb 0.3 percent from July to August.

LinkedIn offers regular workforce reports using information from their users on the social media platform who report new job titles.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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