The Bureau of Labor Statistics released rebenchmarked Current Employment Survey data, with 2019 annual average data (the average of all 12 months), last week. While it seems as if it were ancient history, it is worth looking at this data now, because it shows how New York State benefitted from a massive employment boom from the peak of the prior economic upturn in 2008 to what seems certain to be the peak of the expansion that just ended in 2019. An employment boom that dwarfed the increase from 2000 to 2008, and exceeded the U.S. average in percent gains, even though New York is a slow population growth state. A boom that was concentrated in New York City.
And yet by the end of 2019 the City of New York, the State of New York, and the MTA were already facing budget crises. Service cuts, tax increases, fee increases and deferred maintenance to the point of a future drastic infrastructure decline were already on the table. And now, no doubt our elected officials and the special interests they represent will use the coronavirus and an excuse for all of the above. They should not be allowed to get away with it. Just as the business crisis was caused not by the virus, but rather by all the debts businesses piled up to pump up stock prices and executive pay, as everyone across the ideological spectrum seems to be saying (the subject of my prior post). So the fiscal crisis was coming one way or the other, due to similar heists over the past 25 years.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released re-benchmarked annual average Current Employment Survey data, for 2018 and earlier years, a week ago. In past years, I’ve used this data source to document the trend in local government employment for New York City as compared with the Rest of New York State, something I will summarize briefly at the end of this post. There is, however, a far more spectacular trend. New York City’s private employment in the Home Health Care industry has apparently gone exponential.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released annual average Current Employment Survey data for 2017 this week, and rebenchmarked prior data to the latest unemployment insurance tax records, something it does every March. The news was good for metro New York. Its total employment for December 2017 was 57,600 higher than had been reported prior to the adjustment, and its increase from the prior December was 22,900 greater. For New York City alone, the December 2017 estimate of total employment was 25,400 higher, and the change over the year was 3,500 greater. The greatest source of error in this data is an unexpected number of jobs in new businesses, since these cannot be surveyed and must be estimated.
With the 2017 data out, I’ve repeated my charts of local government employment for New York City and the rest of New York State. The charts show that prior trends are continuing, with less local government employment relative to private sector employment. Mostly because more and more tax dollars are going to debts and retirement benefits for those no longer working, rather than workers still on the job and producing public services. For that reason New York City faces fiscal issues, and New York State and the MTA face budget deficits, even though New York City has added an incredible 500,000-plus private sector jobs over five years.