Tag Archives: New York City labor force

New York City’s Workers: Moving to the Suburbs?

I took a quick look at the latest labor force estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  With unemployment low, but businesses still not willing to raise wages significantly, jobs are going where the workers are, not the other way around.  And for much of the post recession period, that has been New York City.   From June 2011 to May 2017, the New York City resident labor force was higher than it had been a year earlier by an average of 31,192.  With lots of suburban homeowners becoming empty nesters and then retiring, and relatively few new housing units built in the suburbs, the labor force of the rest of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area was lower by an average of 5,345 per year.  Even this understates the suburban labor force decline, as the rest of the metro area includes a number of smaller, older cities such as Yonkers, Hoboken and Jersey City, and that is where young adult workers have been moving and new housing has been built.

Lately, however, there has been a modest reversal.  From June 2017 to May 2018 the New York City labor force was lower than it had been a year earlier by an average of 2,624, while the labor force of the rest of the NY metro was down by an average of 3,401.  And from June 2018 to May 2019, the New York City labor force was down by an average of 13,238 while the rest of the metro area was higher by an average of 15,979.  If New York City’s resident labor force did decrease by 16,000 over two years, that isn’t much compared with the massive increases of the past two decades.  But one wonders if this is the start of a trend.

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Quick Takes on American Community Survey Economic Characteristics Data for 2006 and 2016: NYC Vs. The U.S.

Rather than repeating a detailed analysis of American Community Survey data, after doing one last year, I’m just making some quick observations on data for New York City and the U.S. for 2006 and 2016, two economically similar years.   The prior post was on data from table DP02, “selected social characteristics.”


This one is on DP03, “selected economic characteristics.” (DP04 is “selected housing characteristics”). I’ll just quickly run through the tables in the spreadsheet and tell you what I see. You can a download the DP03 spreadsheet for NYC and the U.S. in 2006 and 2016, once again, here…


and follow along and note what the data shows on the series of tables from top to bottom. Perhaps you’ll catch something I didn’t.

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The Millennials, Treated Like Serfs, May Have Started to Flee New York City

I have long wondered if and when New York’s young workers, tired of low wages (or permanent freelancing or “internships”), squeezed by rising rents into living more than one to an apartment or even a room, faced with higher taxes that contribute to those rents, facing squeezes on the subway and diminished public services, would decide they have had enough. And realize there will be no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow like the ones prior generations received. No rent regulated or Mitchell Lama apartment, no owner-occupied unit purchased outside a housing bubble or at an “insider” price in a conversion, no stable job with benefits, no improving schools. Just higher taxes and deteriorating services to pay for those dead and gone or retired to Florida.

I have wondered if, at some point, the incredible inflow of hundreds of thousands of young workers to New York City that I chronicled here


would slow, stop, and reverse. And based on data I downloaded Friday for a report I’ll be writing Monday on the job, it may have started to happen.

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