New York j​​ob growth slows as layoffs take a bite out of recovery

As a result, the city still has about 43,000 jobs to add to return to its February 2020 jobs peak—not 34,300, as was reported last month.

The unemployment rate was 5.4%in February, up from 5.3% in January.

Despite reported layoffs and hiring freezes, the city certainly isn’t losing jobs yet.

“The numbers show a slight deceleration in job growth, which we expect to continue in the coming months,” said Barbara Denham, senior economist at Oxford Economics.

The finance sector and the information industry, which includes software companies, both added positions, Denham pointed out.

The real estate sector shrank, as did retail and transportation and warehousing.
Restaurants added 5,400 positions in February, a solid jump for an industry that has lagged in its recovery. 

In general, recent jobs reports have underscored a disparate recovery. Jobs that are remote-friendly or considered essential have surpassed prepandemic levels. But other kinds of positions where workers must show up in person have not made a full comeback, said James Parrott, an economist at the New School.    

As of January, there were 4% more jobs in so-called essential industries, including health care and social assistance, utilities and government, than in February 2020, Parrott found. Remote-friendly work–information, finance and insurance, real estate, professional services and management of companies–had, in total, a 2.4% increase in the same period. But face-to-face employment–construction, manufacturing, education, accommodation and food services, and a handful of other jobs–saw the workforce shrink by more than 6%.

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