Economic Research & Analysis

June 2012 Economic Snapshot

Inside this Volume

Private employment rose by 12,100 in April after an increase of 15,300 jobs in March.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in April from 9.7 percent in March.
The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in April 2012 was 90.8 percent, up from 87.8 percent in April 2011.
The Manhattan Class A office vacancy rate was 8.3 percent in May 2012, while the average asking rent was $69 PSF.
Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 9.1 million in March 2012, up 4.8 percent from March 2011.

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#29 Health and Fitness in NYC

NYCEDC explores the trends in the health and fitness industry and the implications for residents as well as the NYC economy.

Employment 

  • Private sector jobs in New York City rose by 12,100 in April after an increase of 15,300 in March.
  • In the same period, government jobs in the City fell by 1,700 resulting in a net increase of 10,400 total private and public sector jobs.
  • Since April 2011, private sector employment has risen by 66,100 jobs or 2.0 percent.
  • The City’s unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in April from 9.7 percent in March.
  • Between March and April, the number of employed City residents rose by 4,700 and the number of unemployed City residents fell by 8,200.

Health and Fitness in New York City

  • Health and wellness of residents is a vital component of New York City’s quality of life. The health and fitness industry has boomed in the city in the last decade. In 2010 there were 631 fitness and recreational sports center (FRSC) establishments in the City, an increase of 66.1 percent since 2000. Employment in the industry rose at a similar rate (66.6 percent), while private sector jobs overall declined 0.4 percent.

Job Growth

  • The industry is concentrated in Manhattan, which had 53.1 percent of FRSC establishments and 79.9 percent of FRSC employment in 2010. Both of these shares have declined since 2000, indicating that the industry is growing faster in most of the outer boroughs. 1, 2
  • Even though the FRSC industry has expanded over the decade, obesity rates have also risen. In 2002, 18.2 percent of New Yorkers were obese. By 2010, that number had risen to 23.4 percent. Manhattan was the only borough where a majority of residents were under or of normal weight in 2010 (52.6 percent). The Bronx reported the highest percentage of obese residents at 31.0 percent. Between 2002 and 2010, Manhattan had the largest gain of under or normal weight residents with a 7.3 percentage point increase. Staten Island had the highest rise of obese residents over the same period, at 9.2 percentage points.

Obesity Chart

  • The close link between exercise and obesity has been well established. The supply of fitness establishments in New York City has increased over the past decade, but the demand for fitness has remained steady: the percentage of New Yorkers who exercised in the past 30 days was 73.7 in 2002 and 72.7 in 2010. Although the citywide statistics were relatively stable, there have been significant changes in the percentage of residents who exercised at the borough level.
  • In 2010, Manhattan had the highest percentage of residents who exercised at 77.4 percent, and Brooklyn had the lowest at 70.7 percent. The Bronx experienced the only increase in the percentage of residents who exercised, rising by 3.8 percentage points (from 67.5 to 71.3 percent) between 2002 and 2010. The largest decline was in Staten Island, where the share of residents that exercised dropped by 3.6 percentage points, from 79.2 to 75.6 percent. 
  • When examined by educational attainment, college graduates exercised more than those of any other group, at 80.2 percent. This is compared to 72.1 percent for individuals with some college education, 67.8 percent for high school graduates and 62.3 percent for those without a high school diploma.

Educational Attainment

  • While the FRSC industry is growing, the fact that obesity rates have been rising could be due to a number of factors not analyzed here, including diet and nutrition.

1 FRSC employment growth from 2000 to 2010: Bronx (129.2%), Brooklyn (95.8%), Manhattan (52.3%), Queens (82.8%), Staten Island (25.0%).
2 FRSC establishment growth from 2000 to 2010: Bronx (179.2%), Brooklyn (94.8%), Manhattan (60.3%), Queens (92.8%), Staten Island (28.1%).

Real Estate and Construction

Manhattan Office Market

  • In May 2012, both the Manhattan Class A direct vacancy rate and average rental rate remained stable at 8.3 percent and $69 PSF, respectively.
  • The Midtown Class A sublease vacancy rate fell to 2.1 percent from 2.2. percent in April.

Construction

For the twelve months ending April 2012:

  • Building projects (including new, additions and alterations) that started construction in NYC increased by 3.4 percent and infrastructure (non-building) project starts increased by 4.0 percent from the twelve months ending April 2011.
  • Planned space for building project starts fell by 3.9 percent from the same period in 2011.
  • 2,485 residential building projects with 11,159 units of housing started construction, increases of 6.7 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively over the period.

Travel and Tourism

Transit Ridership

  • Total ridership on MTA subways, trains and buses in April 2012 was 218.9 million, an increase of 1.6 percent from April 2011. 
  • Subway ridership in April 2012 was 139.0 million, an increase of 2.0 percent from April 2011.

Air Traffic

  • In March 2012, 9.1 million passengers flew into and out of the region's airports, an increase of 4.8 percent from March 2011.
  • Domestic air carriers accounted for 6.2 million passengers, a 4.8 percent increase from March 2011.
  • 3.0 million passengers traveled with international air carriers in March 2012, a 4.8 percent increase from March 2011.

Hotel Occupancy

  • In April 2012, the average daily hotel room rate was $283, a 7.7 percent increase from April 2011. 
  • Hotel occupancy was 90.8 percent in April 2012, up from 87.8 percent in April 2011. 
  • The average daily hotel room rate increased the most in lower-priced hotels (charging between $200 and $250 per night).

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • Total Broadway attendance was approximately 1.2 million during the four weeks ending May 27, 2012, up 2.5 percent from the same period last year. 
  • Broadway revenue during this period was about $104.4 million, up 11.3 percent from last year.