The New York City private job sector added 249,000 jobs between January 2014 and December 2015, the largest the sector has grown over a two-year period, according to a report by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Unemployment dropped to 5.3% in January, down from 6.3% one year earlier. The average employee also received higher wages between 2014-2015, as wages increased by $78 per week on average across all sectors.
“The incredible growth we’re seeing shows we can make our economy stronger and more fair at the same time,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen in a statement. “We’re making strategic investments in fast-growing fields with good-paying jobs and real career pathways for New Yorkers.”
Health care and social assistance services added more jobs than any other field during the two-year period, a total of 40,300 jobs since 2014. Experts attributed the growth in health care employment to the growing population of aging New Yorkers who are increasingly reliant on medical services.
“People are living longer so we have more people that need extended care,” said Christina Greer, a professor of political science at Fordham University. “That’s an entire industry that we will see continue to grow,” Greer added.
Scientific and technical services, educational services and administrative services also topped the list in job growth in that order. Educational services also added the most jobs between December 2015 and January 2016.
“In this economy there’s a real premium on education,” said Jonathan Bowles, the executive director of The Center for Urban Future. “NYU and Columbia have had a record number of applications, even at CUNY enrollment is at an all time high,” he added.
But despite the record job growth and increased wages the average weekly earnings for private sector jobs was the same between January 2015 to January 2016, approximately $1,148 on average.
“The city’s economy is arguably at its best point ever,” Bowles added. “Its been clicking on all sectors and I think we still have some room to grow when it comes to wages.”