Economic Research & Analysis

September 2011 Economic Snapshot


Private employment rose by 19,300 in July 2011 after an increase of 5,800 jobs in June.
The unemployment rate remained at 8.7 percent between June and July 2011.
The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in July 2011 was 89.0 percent, up from 88.2 percent in July 2010.
The Manhattan Class A office vacancy rate was 8.3 percent in August 2011, while the average asking rent was $65 PSF
Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 9.7 million in June 2011, up 2.4 percent from June 2010.


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#20 Broadway By the Numbers

As international countries' economies expand, their residents look to NYC as an entertainment destination.


  • Private sector jobs in New York City rose by 19,300 in July 2011 after an increase of 5,800 in June.
  • In the same period, government jobs in the City rose by 3,600 resulting in a total increase of 22,900 total private and public sector jobs.
  • Since July 2010, private sector employment has risen by 61,700 jobs or 2.0 percent.
  • The City’s unemployment rate remained at 8.7 percent between June and July.
  • Between June and July 2011, the number of employed City residents fell by 16,300 and the number of unemployed City residents fell by 4,400

Tourism and Broadway Over the Last Decade

  • The tourism industry has a significant and growing impact on New York City’s economy. In 2010, tourism-related jobs stood at 317,000, or approximately one out of every ten private sector jobs.1 This was up 26.8% from 2000, when its share of private sector jobs was 8.2%.

Visitors to NYC and Traveler Accomodation Employment (Millions)

  • The traveler accommodation sector is more strictly correlated with tourism patterns than other industries. Its employment registered declines in 2001-2002 and 2009, but quickly rebounded as the number of visitors to the City increased again. In the last decade the sector employed a low of 36,700 in 2002 and a high of 41,600 in 2010.
  • In 2010, there were 48.8 million visitors to NYC, which was up 35.0% from 2000, and up 7.0% from 2009. One in three overseas visitors to the US comes to New York City, making it the number one destination in the country.2
  • Growth in the international market has outpaced the domestic market. International visitors grew by 43.7% between 2000 and 2010 compared to an increase in the number of domestic visitors by approximately one third.

International Visitors to NYC, 2010

  • Tourism from Australia, the sixth largest international visitor market, increased nearly three-fold since 2000, while Brazilian tourism grew by 221.9%. Both of these countries experienced rapid increases in GDP per capita over the period of 44.7% and 56.7%, respectively.3 Over the last decade, the only markets with a decline in visitors to New York City were the UK (-7.3%) and Japan (-28.0%). Compared to other international markets, these had below average economic growth with GDP increases of 36.2% and 33.5%, respectively.
  • The number of visitors to the City dropped in 2009 as the global economic crisis took hold. However, from 2008 to 2009 the number of visitors from Australia, Argentina, and Eastern Europe grew. As the economic situation began to improve in 2010, visitors from Eastern Europe, Ireland, Germany, the UK, and Scandinavia declined.
  • Broadway, the musicals and theater productions that cluster around Times Square, is unique to New York City and is an important part of its tourism industry. The Broadway League conducts a semi-annual study of the demographics of the Broadway audience. The results of the latest survey showed that in the 2009-2010 season, 83.2% of the attendees were visitors to the City and that approximately one in five of the City’s tourists attend a Broadway show during their stay.
  • The number of City residents attending Broadway shows has remained steady over the last decade, hovering around 2 million. Following overall tourism trends, the largest increase in Broadway attendees was by international visitors, with a growth of 48.5% over the decade.

Broadway Visitors By Origin (Millions)

1. Tourism-related employment includes Accommodation and Food Services (NAICS 71) and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (NAICS 72). These are industries which expand and contract with visitor levels, but also with population and income.
2. Overseas visitors are international excluding Canada and Mexico.
3. Current dollar purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP, World Economic Outlook (WEO) data, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Real Estate and Construction

Manhattan Office Market

  • In August 2011, the Manhattan Class A direct vacancy rate fell to 8.3 percent from 8.4 percent in July and the average rental rate remained at $65 PSF.
  • In the same month, the Midtown South Class A direct vacancy rate fell to 3.6 percent and the rental rate rose to $57 PSF.
  • The Manhattan Class A sublease vacancy rate rose to 1.8 percent in August 2011 from 1.6 percent in July.


For the twelve months ending July 2011:

  • Building projects (including new, additions and alterations) that started construction in NYC increased by 23.8 percent and infrastructure (non-building) project starts fell by 3.6 percent from the four months ending July 2010.
  • Planned space for building project starts increased by 0.7 percent from the same period in 2010.
  • 910 residential building projects with 3,148 units of housing started construction, increases of 25.2 percent and 17.3 percent, respectively over the period.

Tourism, Travel, and Transit

Transit Ridership

  • Total ridership on MTA subways, trains and buses in July 2011 was 210.3 million, a decrease of 2.1 percent from July 2010.
  • Subway ridership in July 2011 was 131.1 million, a decrease of 0.3 percent from July 2010.

Tourism and Travel

  • In June 2011, 9.7 million passengers flew into and out of the region's airports, an increase of 2.4 percent from June 2010.
  • Domestic air carriers accounted for 6.3 million passengers, a 2.5 percent increase from the same month last year.
  • 3.4 million passengers traveled with international air carriers in June 2011, a 2.2 percent increase from June 2010.

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • Total Broadway attendance was approximately 788,100 during the four weeks ending August 28, 2011, down 3.9 percent from the same period last year. The decline was due to closure of all Broadway shows for the weekend during Hurricane Irene.
  • Broadway revenue during this period was about $73.1 million, up 0.1 percent from last year.

Hotel Occupancy

  • In July 2011, the average daily hotel room rate was $243, a 6.8 percent increase from July 2010.
  • Hotel occupancy was 89.0 percent in July 2011, up from 88.2 percent in July 2010.
  • The average daily hotel room rate increased the most in mid-priced hotels (charging between $200 and $275 per night).