Economic Research & Analysis

January 2017 Economic Snapshot: Making Sense of the Numbers


New York City added one thousand jobs in December 2016, ending three months of modest job losses.
The pace of New York City’s economic growth increased last year and is expected to continue accelerating.
The Bronx led the construction of residential units in November 2016, adding more than any other borough.
Rents decreased slightly in December 2016, while housing prices continued to rise.
Broadway ended 2016 with modestly higher attendance than 2015.


Audio Resources


#81: How to Make Sense of the Numbers (Deep Dive Edition)

Job numbers are high, construction is bustling, and the Gross City Product is up 1.7% — but what does that all really mean? Simon and Andrew break from their regular programming and dive into the data to explain to everyday New Yorkers how to make sense of it all.


Private sector employment grew slightly in December 2016, reversing three months of job losses. Public sector employment rose by six hundred, resulting in total gains of one thousand jobs between November and December 2016. Job growth was led by Health Care and Social Assistance, which netted 3,400 jobs, followed by Accommodation and Food Services, and Construction. Several sectors saw job losses this month, chiefly Information, Wholesale Trade, and Arts & Entertainment, all of which lost at least two thousand jobs.

New York City added 63,500 jobs since the end of 2015, growing employment by 1.5% (on par with the US average). The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.7% in November (unemployment was 5.2% this time in 2015). After adjusting for inflation, average weekly earnings remain at $1,166, largely unchanged from 2015. By comparison, consumer prices rose 2.1%.

Note: Monthly employment data are seasonally adjusted by New York City Office of Management and Budget
Sources: New York State Department of Labor; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

January 2017 Snapshot - Employment by IndustrySource: New York State Department of Labor

January 2017 Snapshot - Employment by Metro Region

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The New York City economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7%, reaching $670.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 (the latest for which official government data is available). Fourth quarter growth outpaced the previous three quarters. According to projections by Moody’s Analytics, New York City’s economy continued to expand at a similar pace through 2016, growing at an annual rate of 1.9%. Moody’s projects a significant acceleration in 2017 with the annual growth rate hitting 2.7% by the fourth quarter.

Note: NYCEDC monitors New York City’s gross city product, venture capital financing, and the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Index of Coincident Economic Indicators. These indicators are reported on a quarterly rotation.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Moody’s Analytics


In November 2016, 577 construction projects worth a collective $1.8 billion were started in New York City and contained 1,161 residential units. These figures are lower than average over the past twelve months, which experienced $2.7 billion worth of projects and 2,500 residential units each month. The Bronx was the only borough to outpace average performances over the last year. While the
Bronx did not see more project starts than normal over the past 12 months, the borough’s projects were 9% more valuable and contained 43% more units than average due to relatively large residential projects, which totaled over 500,000 square feet.

Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

January 2017 Snapshot - Construction Starts

Housing & Real Estate

Residential rents in New York City remained unchanged between December and November 2016. At $2,322/month, December rent rates were down 0.5% from December 2015; the first time year-over-year price change has been negative in recent years. Median home values, however, continue to rise. In December 2016, home values reached 626,600 – an all-time high and 10.9% higher than last year. In contrast, the Manhattan office market has been relatively steady through 2016. The direct average rent per square foot of Class A office space was $81 in December, a 2.2% increase from last year. Over the same time, the direct vacancy rate rose 0.8 percentage points to 8.8%.

Sources: Zillow; Cushman & Wakefield

January 2017 Snapshot - Residential Rent-Home ValueJanuary 2017 Snapshot - Office Vacancy-Rent

Transit & Tourism

Indicators of tourism in New York City remained relatively stable in the most recent data with airport traffic moderately up and hotel revenue per available room moderately down from last year.  Broadway, which has had a mixed year, saw revenues fall 3.1% between December 2016 and December 2015. Despite a mixed year, Broadway finished the year with 1.0% higher total revenue and 1.9% higher attendance than in 2015. Regional transit saw a modest reversal of recent growth in transit modes serving the metro area outside the city, while New York City transit ridership—which includes subways and buses—increased slightly from last year.

Sources: Port Authority or New York and New Jersey; Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Broadway League; CBRE

Transit Change Compared to 2015

January 2017 Snapshot - Transit

Tourism Change Compared to 2015

January 2017 Snapshot - Tourism