New York unemployment rate hit the lowest level since the dark days post-Lehman in November 2008. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in New York dropped to 6.8% in September 2014. The 1.8-point year-over-year drop took place at the same time the labor force expanded by 0.8%, suggesting a much greater improvement than can be discerned solely from the unemployment rate. The declining unemployment rate has, in part, put upward pressure on rents and prices of New York real estate. Manhattan rental rates for September are up 5.2%, while condo prices are up 7% (on a price per square foot basis).
Thanks largely to the private sector, which added 95,400 jobs in the 12-months ended in September, the number of unemployed people is being whittled away. As of September, jobs are up 2.8%, for a total of 3,529,900 positions. Year-to-date through the third quarter, the city added 82,800 jobs, putting it well on track to add 100,000 by the end of the year. If this rate holds through to year-end, this will be the first time since 1999 that the city had added that many jobs. Job growth for the past 12 months was led by education and health care services, which added 32,000 jobs. Professional and business services, too, added 20,000 jobs over the same time.
As the U.S. economy improves, New York City is well positioned to continue as the leader of job growth across the country, which will undoubtedly put continued upward pressure on rents and prices of New York real estate.