Economic Research & Analysis

January 2016 Economic Snapshot

Inside this Volume

Private employment in New York City increased by 200 jobs between November and December 2015.
NYC’s unemployment rate rose from 4.8% to 5.0% between November and December.
The number of new construction projects increased 7.8% from the twelve months ending December 2014. The value of these projects increased 70% over the same period.
Subway ridership rose to 144.5 million in November 2015, a 2.3% increase over November 2014.
9.9 million passengers flew into and out of the region’s airports in November 2015, an increase of 9.0% from November 2014.



  • Private sector jobs in New York City rose by 200 in December 2015 following November 2015 gains of 12,600 jobs.
  • Government jobs in the city also rose, resulting in a net overall increase of 700 jobs between November and December 2015. Other Services had the largest month-to-month growth, adding 2,400 jobs, followed by Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, which added 1,100 jobs.
  • This was offset by a decline of 3,600 jobs in Wholesale and Retail Trade.
  • Since December 2014, private sector employment has risen by 84,500 jobs, an increase of 2.3%. This compares to the national growth rate of 2.2%.
  • New York City’s unemployment rate rose to 5%, up from 4.8% last month.

Real Estate and Construction

Manhattan Office Market

  • Both the December 2015 Manhattan Class A Vacancy rate and average rents PSF held steady over from last month, at 8% and $79, respectively.
  • While the direct vacancy rate was stable in Midtown and Midtown South, the Downtown rate decreased from 11.2% to 10.7% between November and December. Meanwhile,
  • The average rents remained stable in all three major submarkets.
  • The Manhattan sublease vacancy rate dropped slightly to 1.2% from 1.3% in November, with the associated rental rate increasing from $51 to $53 per square foot.

Source: Cushman and Wakefield


For the twelve months ending December 2015:

  • The number of building projects (including new, additions, and alterations) that started construction in New York City was up 7.8% relative to the twelve month period ending December 2014. In addition, planned space for these projects was 83% higher than the same period in 2014, suggesting that building projects have become larger. The value associated with these projects was also up 70% over the period.
  • Of the 7,282 building projects that began construction, 3,663 were residential building projects, representing a 14.6% increase from the twelve months ending in December 2014. These starts contained 50,971 units, up 97.1% from the preceding twelve months.

Source: McGraw-Hill

Transit, Travel, and Tourism

Transit Ridership

  • Total ridership on MTA subways, trains, and buses in November 2015 was 222.2 million, up 1.8% from November 2014.
  • While subway ridership in November 2015 was up 2.3% from November 2014 with 144.5 million riders, bus ridership was down 0.4% over the same period.

Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Travel and Tourism

Air Traffic

  • In November 2015, 9.9 million passengers flew into and out of the region’s airports, an increase of 9.0% from November 2014.
  • 3.2 million passengers traveled with international air carriers in November 2015, a 6.9% increase from November 2014.
  • Domestic air carriers accounted for 6.9 million passengers, a 10.1% increase from November 2014.

Source: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • Total Broadway attendance was approximately 1,133,175 during the four weeks ending December 27, 2015, down 1.4% from the same period last year.
  • Broadway revenues during this period were about $125.3 million, down by 5.5% from last year.

Source: The Broadway League
Note: Gross revenue and attendance figures may not include all shows

Hotel Occupancy

  • In October 2015, the average daily hotel room rate was $361, a 0.3% decrease from October 2014.
  • Hotel occupancy was 92.1% in October 2015, down slightly from 93.0% in October 2014.
  • The average occupancy rate decreased the most in hotels charging over $500 per night, decreasing by 5.9% from October of last year.

Source: PKF Consulting