The state of New York lost 1 million jobs in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, including 578,000 in New York City alone, according to a new state Labor Department report.
The job losses, which caused 10 percent of the state workforce to vanish, came after lockdowns, tourism drops, and tanking business activity, reports The New York Post. In New York City, the decline meant that 12 percent of jobs disappeared, marking the highest job loss in the state.
In the United States overall, 6% of jobs dropped, marking half the rate of New York City, which was the initial coronavirus epicenter last spring.
The economy has also stalled during the second COVID-19 surge, with New York State losing 37,200 jobs in December, compared to November of last year.
Most of New York City’s job losses came from the restaurant, food services, and beverage industry. In December 2019, 324,500 people were employed in that sector, compared to 183,800 in December 2020.
The industry also lost 11,700 jobs in December compared to November after Gov. Andrew Cuomo reinstated the ban on indoor dining in New York City in an attempt to contain the second COVID-19 surge.
The hospitality sector, which includes hotels, arts, and entertainment, also dropped 366,000 jobs statewide, with many hotels and the Broadway theater district remaining shuttered.
According to Cuomo’s economic forecast, released as part of his new budget plan this week, the state will probably not recover all of its lost jobs until 2025.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, said restaurants and bars are essential to the city’s “social and economic fabric” and the city is at a “crisis level like we’ve never experienced.”
New York City restauranteurs also complain that indoor dining is banned in the city but is allowed elsewhere in the state if combined with social distancing restrictions.
“If New York City is to pull itself out of this economic grave and gain jobs, we must safely bring back regulated indoor dining like it’s permitted in the rest of New York State, and the Biden Administration and Congress must enact the RESTAURANTS Act stimulus plan very soon,” Rigie said.
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