Economic Research & Analysis

December 2012 Economic Snapshot


Private sector jobs in New York City fell by 18,300 in November after a decrease of 3,500 in October.
The unemployment rate fell from 9.2 percent in October 2012 to 8.8 percent in November.
The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in October 2012 was 91.6 percent, up from 90.9 percent in October 2011.
The Manhattan Class A office vacancy rate was 8.2 percent in November 2012, while the average asking rent was $70 PSF.
Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 9.0 million in September 2012, up 2.2 percent from September 2011.


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#34 Museums and Art Galleries in NYC

NYCEDC explores the economic impact of museums and art galleries in New York City.


  • Private sector jobs in New York City fell by 18,300 in November after a decrease of 3,500 in October.
  • In the same period, government jobs in the City fell by 1,900 resulting in a total decrease of 20,200 total private and public sector jobs.
  • Since November 2011, private sector employment has risen by 67,100 jobs or 2.0 percent.
  • The City’s unemployment rate fell from 9.2 percent in October 2012 to 8.8 percent in November.
  • Between October and November, the number of employed City residents rose by 9,300, and the number of unemployed City residents fell by 16,900.

Museums and Art Galleries in New York City

  • New York City’s cultural institutions play a very important role in economic development. They serve as a major magnet for tourists, provide jobs for thousands of people, and contribute an immeasurable amount towards quality of life for residents.
  • According to data from NYC & Company, the City had 23.8 million cultural visitors in 2011, up 11.2% from 2010. This group had a combined spending power of $12.7 billion. More than a third were international visitors, underscoring that the City’s cultural attractions are a world-class draw.
  • In this Economic Snapshot, we focus on New York City’s museums and art galleries. Information about the number of establishments and employment is available from the New York State Department of Labor, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.
  • In 2011, NYC had 187 museums and 599 art galleries. Although there are fewer museums, they employ more people, generating approximately 6,190 jobs in 2011 compared to 2,520 jobs in galleries. These figures put combined employment at 8,700 in 2011, down 5.2% from the last peak in 2008. These industries were impacted by the recession as people cut back on spending, but consecutive job gains in 2010 and 2011 indicate that they are bouncing back.

Employment at NYC Museums and Art Galleries, 2000 - 2011

  • Average employment per establishment in 2011 at New York City museums was 33, compared to 4 at art galleries. Since 2000, average employment has remained stable at galleries, but has declined significantly (-29.2%) in museums. This trend indicates an abundance of new smaller niche museums. The City’s large and famous museums play a vital role in attracting tourists, but smaller, specialized museums add to quality of life and tourist appeal by providing diversity.

Number of NYC Museums and Average Employment, 2001 - 2011

  • We also examined data about exactly where in the City museums and art galleries are located. On a borough basis, Manhattan has 74% of the City’s museums and 94% of its art galleries. Brooklyn comes in second in both categories, with 11% of museums and 3% of galleries.
  • Limited data are available beyond the borough level, but we are able to get counts of establishments by ZIP code through 2010 from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns (CBP) program. 10021 in the Upper East Side of Manhattan had the most museums and art galleries (89), followed by 10001 (87) and 10011 (79) in Chelsea.
  • While museums and galleries are concentrated in Manhattan, neighborhoods in the other boroughs are becoming larger players. Of the top ZIP codes that added museums and galleries from 2000 to 2010, two were in Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights/Downtown, 11201 and Williamsburg, 11211) and one was in Queens (Long Island City, 11101).

Zip Codes with Largest Increase in Musuems and Art Galleries, 2000 - 2010

Real Estate and Construction

Manhattan Office Market

  • In November 2012, the Manhattan Class A direct vacancy rate rose to 8.2 percent while the average rental rate rose to $70 PSF.
  • In the same month, the Midtown South Class A direct vacancy rate rose to 4.4 percent, and the rental rate remained at $68 PSF.
  • The Manhattan Class A sublease vacancy rate remained at 2.2 percent between October and November.

Source: Cushman & Wakefield


For the twelve months ending October 2012:

  • Building projects (including new, additions, and alterations) that started construction in NYC fell by 9.0 percent and infrastructure (non-building) project starts rose by 8.0 percent from the twelve months ending October 2011.
  • Planned space for building project starts fell by 8.2 percent from the same period in 2011.
  • 2,435 residential building projects with 11,601 units of housing started construction, which are respective decreases of 6.1 percent and 1.3 percent from the twelve months ending in October 2011.

Source: McGraw Hill Construction

Travel, Tourism, and Transit

Transit Ridership

  • Total ridership on MTA subways, trains, and buses in October 2012 was 216.1 million, a decrease of 5.3 percent from October 2011.
  • Subway ridership in October 2012 was 137.1 million, a decrease of 4.9 percent from October 2011.
  • Ridership declines were mainly attributable to the MTA system-wide shutdown that began on October 28th as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Source:  Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Air Traffic

  • In September 2012, 9.0 million passengers flew into and out of the region's airports, an increase of 2.2 percent from September 2011.
  • Domestic air carriers accounted for 5.7 million passengers, a 0.5 percent increase from September 2011.
  • 3.3 million passengers traveled with international air carriers in September 2012, a 5.3 percent increase from September 2011.

Source:  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Hotel Occupancy

  • In October 2012, the average daily hotel room rate was $336, a 2.4 percent increase from October 2011.
  • Hotel occupancy was 91.6 percent in October 2012, up from 90.9 percent in October 2011.
  • The average daily hotel room rate increased the most in the mid-price hotels (charging between $275 and $350 per night).

Source: PKF Consulting

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • Total Broadway attendance was approximately 1.1 million during the five weeks ending December 2, 2012, down 14.4 percent from the same period last year.
  • Broadway revenue during this period was about $103.2 million, down 13.8 percent from last year.
  • Declines in attendance and revenue were mainly due to the Broadway shutdown as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Source: The Broadway League