Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 1.26.43 PMAccording to an analysis of the City’s economic performance in the third quarter of 2015 released Friday by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, the City’s unemployment rate is down to 5.4 percent, the lowest rate since 2008.

Each borough individually experienced lower unemployment rates compared to same time last year, with Brooklyn experiencing one of the biggest drops, from 7.5 percent in 2008 to 5.5 percent in 2015. However, in Brooklyn, the study found that the average housing price rose 18 percent to $856,839.

Also during this period, noted the report, the overall U.S. economy grew by just 1.5 percent, while the City’s economy grew by 2.4 percent, aided by the strength of local businesses that helped to drive job creation across New York City, Comptroller Scott Stringer noted.

“The City saw strong job growth in the third quarter and that means more opportunities for the people who make New York City run like bodega employees, teachers and health aides,” Stringer said.

To get a clearer picture of the economic trends the comptroller’s office examined job growth across two categories: 1. sectors that rely on the local economy for their development, such as retail and healthcare, which saw strong growth; and  2. businesses that rely on clients outside the City, such as accounting and legal services, which were somewhat affected by the national slowdown.

In the third quarter, the City added a total of 24,700 new private-sector jobs, with locally-supported sectors of the economy accounting for the lion’s share of job growth

Locally-supported sectors (such as retail, education and healthcare) added 18,100, or 73 percent of the total. Export Sectors dependent on the national economy (such as accounting and legal services) added just 6,600, or 27 percent of the total.

“The way to sustain this growth is to keep expanding opportunity in all five boroughs by investing in local businesses and making sure that all New Yorkers have the tools they need to succeed.”

Other important findings: 

  • Average hourly earnings of all NYC private employees, another proxy for personal income, rose 3.8 percent in the third quarter on a year-over-year basis after rising 2.9 percent in the second quarter.
  • Venture capital investment in the New York metro area rose to $1.8 billion – the highest third quarter level since 2000. However, the City’s share of total national venture capital investment fell from 16.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to 11 percent in the third quarter of 2015.
  • As compared to the third quarter of 2014, in the third quarter of 2015, average apartment prices rose by 3.1 percent in Manhattan to over $1.7 million, by 18 percent in Brooklyn to $856,839 and by 12.8 percent in Queens to $522,378.
  • Average weekday MTA subway ridership fell 0.2 percent and bus ridership fell 5.2 percent.  A rise in income and more taxi rides, including ride sharing services, could explain some of the decline.
  • The City’s hospitality industry in July and August experienced its second best summer performance ever as hotel occupancy rate in Manhattan averaged 92.6 percent.

To see the full economic quarterly report, please click here.

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