Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NYC | Jobs, mid-2014

In business school some marketing professors argue that marketing strategies boil down to two:  the high-quality pitch and the low-cost pitch. You either sell the quality or the price - or the quality for a given price, or the price for a given quality.

The two political parties seem to be devolving to these two strategies. The GOP case is that it will spend less (except maybe on national defense) and tax less. The Democratic case remains that its policies will offer a better quality of life for more people.

The GOP view is that government is a burden on the economy and that high-tax states and cities will suffer by losing businesses to lower-cost states and cities. Democrats believe that a good quality of life for a large portion of the population will attract and retain a productive work force.

New York State

New York State has been punching above its economic weight. It accounts for 6.5 percent of U.S. jobs but 12 percent of national job growth, according to the NY State Labor Department. New York State’s unemployment rate of 7.1 percent in December 2013 was its lowest level since January 2009.

In August 2014, New York State had 9.03 million nonfarm jobs, up from 8.93 million a year earlier, a growth rate of 1.5 percent. Of the 9 million jobs, 4 million (44 percent) are in New York City - the highest number since the end of 1969 (in the quarter that Mayor de Blasio took office, Manhattan accounted for 2.5 million of these 4 million New York City jobs).

New York City Metro Area Job Numbers

The job numbers in the New York City metro area for August released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide some food for thought.

July Nonfarm Jobs
August Nonfarm Jobs
Change from 
August 2013 to August 2014(p)

2013 2014 2013
New York State 8,922.9 9,055.0 8,893.4 9,030.5 137.1 1.5
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island(1) 8,718.0 8,873.8 8,679.7 8,836.2 156.5 1.8
Edison-New Brunswick(2)
1,028.0 1,037.8 1,028.7 1,035.0 6.3 0.6
1,288.5 1,301.6 1,280.3 1,300.3 20.0 1.6
New York-White Plains-Wayne(1)
5,422.5 5,540.3 5,394.4 5,511.9 117.5 2.2
979.0 994.1 976.3 989.0 12.7 1.3
Source: Table 4, BLS Metro Area Jobs Release, October 1, 2014

The greatest growth in nonfarm payroll jobs - 2.2 percent - was in New York City and a few neighboring counties to the north and west. The inner NYC metropolitan division outperformed both New York State and also the larger NYC metropolitan area. The outer New Jersey suburban areas grew the least, and upstate New York grew more slowly than downstate.

Higher-cost areas seem to attract people who are confident that their services or products will sell in the marketplace. The connections they make justify the higher cost of more densely populated areas.

New York City Job Numbers

Based on the numbers through August, New York City is likely to gain 100,000 jobs during the year 2014 - the best job growth in NYC over one year since these numbers were first tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the first office of which was NYC-based). The education and health services sector alone added 43,700 jobs, not seasonally adjusted, during the past 12 months, while government jobs fell by 3,000.

Unemployment in New York City is higher than in the nation but fell significantly to 7.3 percent in August, down from 7.8 percent in July and 8.8 percent in August 2013. This 0.5 percent drop between July and August is the largest-ever decline for NYC on record in the NY State Department of Labor. The number of unemployed NYC residents is 300,900, the fewest since the early recession in January 2009.