NYers slowly returning to work

New Yorkers are limping back into the job market from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lock down 16 months ago.

The latest numbers from the feds show the number of jobs grew by 17,500, or 0.2%, last month as there are now nearly 7.5 million jobs in the state. Nationally, the number of private-sector jobs grew at a 0.4% clip.

New York’s unemployment rate went from 8.2% in April to 7.8% last month. That’s still significantly higher than the U.S. average of 5.8%.

New York City continues to be the main drag on the statewide numbers. According to the state Department of Labor, Gotham’s unemployment rate was 10.9% for May. That’s down from 11.4% in April, but outside of the city, the rest of the state reported a 5.5% unemployment rate for May.

Some job sectors are trying to return to past levels, but many businesses were lost in the Covid-19 lock down.

In May 2020, the state reported a loss of more than 550,000 leisure and hospitality jobs from the previous year. From May 2020 to last month, the number of jobs in that sector grew by more than 255,000.

The next biggest gainer, in terms of job numbers, was trade, transportation and utilities. After losing nearly 359,000 jobs from May 2019 to May 2020, that industry has picked up 204,000 jobs from May 2020 to last month.