In just six months, COVID-19 has altered an economy with previously strong fundamentals. New York City office-using employment declined by 132,200 jobs from February to August to a total of 1.4 million jobs. On a national level, the economy has shed 2.0 million office-using jobs since the start of the pandemic. There have been 61.0 million unemployment claims through September 12, surpassing the 37.1 million claims from the Great Recession. However, the national unemployment rate was recorded at 8.4% in August, a 6.3 percentage point decline from April’s peak of 14.7%. These conditions are expected to improve as employees return to the office through phased recovery plans.
In New York City, financial services as well as the technology and media sectors1saw less of an impact from COVID-19 than other industries, with year-over-year employment declines of just 6.5% and 7.2%, respectively.