NYS economy loses more than 1.7 million private sector jobs in April 2020

Up to the Minute

From the U.S. Department of Labor:

According to the preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Labor’s business and household surveys for April 2020, the number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased over the month by 1,764,600, or 21.4 percent, to 6,467,600. This was the state’s largest monthly employment drop on record. Just under one-third of the monthly jobs decline occurred in leisure and hospitality (-577,700), mostly in accommodation and food services (-471,400).

In April 2020, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.1% to 14.5%. This change (+10.4 percentage points) was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase since current record keeping began in 1976. In addition, the number of unemployed New York State residents increased by 931,600, while the labor force dropped by 307,600 – both monthly records.

The number of private sector jobs in New York State is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York businesses conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data become available the following month. The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in the State each month.Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month – for example, April 2019 versus April 2020.

United States and New York State: March – April 2020

1) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the month-over-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State.

 Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 Net%Net%
United States-20,537,000-13.5%-19,557,000-15.2%
New York State-1,827,300-18.8%-1,764,600-21.4%

2) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

In April 2020, the statewide unemployment rate increased from 4.1% to 14.5%. New York City’s unemployment rate increased over the month from 4.1% to 14.2%. Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate increased from 4.2% to 14.7%. These monthly increases were the largest on record for each area since current record keeping began in 1976.

The number of unemployed New Yorkers also increased by 931,600 over the month, from 388,700 in March to 1,320,300 in April 2020, representing the largest monthly uptick on record.

 April 2020*March 2020April 2019
United States14.74.43.6
New York State14.54.14.0
New York City14.24.14.2
NYS, outside NYC14.74.23.9
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

United States, New York State and Metro Areas: April 2019 – April 2020

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The following table compares the changes in total nonfarm and private sector jobs occurring in the United States, New York State and metro areas in the state, between April 2019 and April 2020.

 Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 Net%Net
United States-19,359,000-12.9%-18,526,000-14.5%
New York State-1,895,100-19.4%-1,834,800-22.1%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy-74,300-15.7%-71,800-19.4%
    Binghamton-14,600-14.0%-13,500-16.6%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls-114,800-20.3%-110,500-23.3%
    Dutchess-Putnam-21,900-14.7%-21,000-17.1%
    Elmira-4,800-13.0%-4,700-15.6%
    Glens Falls-9,300-17.5%-8,800-20.8%
    Ithaca-9,500-14.4%-9,200-16.2%
    Kingston-7,400-11.9%-6,800-14.3%
    Nassau-Suffolk-292,200-21.7%-281,900-24.5%
    New York City-891,800-19.2%-885,000-21.8%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester-161,700-22.0%-153,300-24.6%
    Rochester-103,800-19.1%-98,200-21.3%
    Syracuse-60,000-18.7%-57,500-22.0%
    Utica-Rome-22,300-17.3%-20,200-20.9%
    Watertown-Fort Drum-6,300-15.4%-5,600-19.4%
    Non-metro counties-65,800-12.9%-60,700-16.2%
Note: The sum of sub-state area job estimates will usually differ from the New York State total. This is because the State total is calculated separately from the sub-state areas and is estimated based on an independent sample.

Job highlights since April 2019:

  • All fifteen metro areas in New York State lost private sector jobs since April 2019. The following areas lost at least 20% of their private sector jobs over the past year:
    • Orange-Rockland-Westchester (-24.6%)
    • Nassau-Suffolk (-24.5%)
    • Buffalo-Niagara Falls (-23.3%)
    • Syracuse (-22.0%)
    • New York City (-21.8%)
    • Rochester (-21.3%)
    • Utica-Rome (-20.9%)
    • Glens Falls (-20.8%)
  • Non-metro counties in New York State lost 60,700 private sector jobs over the past year.

Change in jobs by major industry sector: April 2019 – April 2020

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between April 2019 – April 2020.

Sectors With Job Losses:
Leisure & Hospitality-638,000
Trade, Transportation & Utilities-357,300
Educational & Health Services*-227,200
Professional & Business Services-190,500
Construction-167,700
Other Services-124,300
Manufacturing-84,100
Government*-60,300
Financial Activities-35,800
Information-9,500
Natural Resources & Mining-400
**Educational and health services is in the private sector. Government includes public education and public health services.

Highlights among New York State sectors with job losses since April 2019:

  • The industry sector experiencing the largest over-the-year decline in employment was leisure and hospitality (-638,000). Within this sector, job losses were greatest in accommodation and food services (-533,500), especially food services and drinking places (-469,900).
  • Trade, transportation and utilities (-357,300) had the second largest over-the-year job loss. Sector job losses were focused in retail trade (-229,000), especially clothing and accessories stores (-65,800).
  • Over the past year, the third largest employment drop was in educational and health services (-227,200). Within the sector, most job losses occurred in health care and social assistance (-151,300), especially ambulatory health care (-87,400).

Note: The responsibility for the production of monthly estimates of state and metro area nonfarm employment by industry moved from the NYS Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), starting with the March 2011 estimates. More detailed information on the change is available on the BLS website.

Many economic data series have a seasonal pattern, which means they tend to occur at the same time each year (e.g., retail jobs usually increase in December). Seasonal adjustment is the process of removing seasonal effects from a data series. This is done to simplify the data so that they may be more easily interpreted and help to reveal true underlying trends. Seasonal adjustment permits comparisons of data from one month to data from any other month.

In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data are preliminary and subject to revision. Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or domestic workers in private households.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate is based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York each month.

See State and Area Job Data (opens in new window)
See Labor Market Overview (opens in new window)
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet (opens in new window)

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