Even after the pandemic, New York faces long-lasting economic sacrifices

The prosperity of the city relies heavily on work and travel patterns that can change irreversibly.

As the national economy recovers from the pandemic and begins to take off, New York City lags behind, changing work and travel patterns, threatening the engines that have long supported work and prosperity.

New York suffers more serious unemployment as part of the workforce than any other big city. And while the country regained two-thirds of the position it lost after the arrival of the coronavirus, New York regained less than half, leaving more than 500,000 jobs in the red.

Restaurants and bars are once again full of New Yorkers eager to return to normal. But scars are everywhere. There are many areas where you can find the storefronts and signboards for rent. The empty sidewalks in Midtown Manhattan make you feel like a weekday weekend. The number of passengers on the subway on weekdays is less than half that of two years ago.

The city’s financial plight is largely due to its heavy reliance on office workers, business travelers, tourists, and the service business that caters to them all. Many businesses are aiming to bring workers back to the office, and Broadway is fully reopened, with all eyes on September to attract more visitors and their money. But still, the rebound is only partial.

The move to telecommuting puts thousands of companies servicing commuters who are less likely to come to the office more often than they were before the pandemic. By the end of September, the New York City partnership, a business advocate, predicts that only 62% of office workers will return, mostly three days a week.

Restoring the city to financial health will be a major challenge for the next mayor, who is likely to run for the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Candidates offer different visions on how to help SMEs struggle and create jobs.

Barbara Burn Denham, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said: “We were suffering more than anyone else, so it will take some time to recover.”

The unemployment rate in May was 10.9%, almost double the national average of 5.8%. In Bronx, the poorest district in the city, the percentage is 15 percent. Face-to-face workers, such as restaurants and hospitality, are often of color and are still struggling.

Jose Ortiz Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Employment Training Union, a workforce development group, said:

At the same time, hundreds of small businesses that employed about half of the city’s workforce before the pandemic did not survive. And many of them have debts they have undertaken to survive the recession, renting tens of thousands of dollars.

Robert Schwartz, the third-generation owner of Eneslow Shoes & Orthotics, said: He closed two of the four stores, but left branches open in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Queens’ Little Neck. “We will survive, but it will be a long and slow recovery.”

One of the key factors in the city’s economic trajectory is addressing safety concerns, according to citizens and business leaders. Violent crimes have increased since the outbreak of the pandemic. Shooting the attention-grabbing Times Square In May, two women and a 4-year-old girl were injured. Police recently increased foot patrols in Midtown.

Seth Pinsky, CEO of 92nd Street Y, a longtime cultural destination on the Upper East Side, said:

“Crime is on the rise and the city is more dirty,” added Pinsky, who was president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation under former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “It is important to recreate a virtuous cycle.”

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on a WNYC radio show that the city had more police officers on the subway than at any point in the last 25 years. “We really want to get people back and protect everyone,” he said.

Nevertheless, concerns about crime are often quoted by returning workers. “Employees have questions about the city’s safety and growing concerns,” said Jonathan Gray, president of financial giant Blackstone. “My hope is that as the city fills, it will decrease.”

New York certainly feels less crowded than it was a few months ago. On June 13, nearly 195,000 pedestrians strolled in Times Square. It was more than double the typical number of harsh winter days when the coronavirus was rampant. This is a long way from the 365,000 people who passed each day before the pandemic, but the total is even higher, according to Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes local businesses and the surrounding area.

When Gray returned to Blackstone’s Midtown headquarters last summer, there were only 16 people on the 19th floor. Currently, there are more than 1,600 people, and Blackstone wants all vaccinated employees to return home.

“It’s gone from being very lonely, and now it’s pretty normal,” Gray added.

Wall Street and the banking sector are the city’s economic pillars and one of the most aggressive industries that encourage employees to return to their offices. “If you want to get paid in New York, you need to be in New York,” James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, told investors and analysts this month.

Many companies, including Blackstone and Morgan Stanley, own huge real estate or lend to the industry, which is more than a citizen’s pride in returning workers. Technology companies like Facebook and Google are increasingly important employers as well as major commercial tenants. Increase their office space.. However, it has become more flexible about allowing employees to continue to work remotely.

Google, which has 11,000 employees in New York and plans to add 3,000 over the next few years, will return to its West Chelsea office in September, but workers will have to come three days a week. The company also states that up to 20 percent of its staff can apply for remote jobs full-time.

The decision to stay at home for part of a home or throughout the week, even for a small percentage of Google and other company employees, can have significant financial implications.

Even if only 10% of Manhattan office workers start working remotely most of the time, that means more than 100,000 people a day don’t pick up coffee or bagels or drink in the middle of work. .. New York City Affairs Center in New York.

“I think a lot of people will come back, but not all,” he said. “As a result, you may lose businesses in your neighborhood.”

The lack of white-collar workers hurt people like Danuta Klosinski, 60, who had been cleaning an office building in Manhattan for 20 years. According to Denis Johnston, Local 32BJ of Service Employees International Union, Vice President of the union, she is one of more than 3,000 office cleaners and is absent from work.

Krosinsky, who lives in Brooklyn, said he had been laid off twice since last spring and has been idle since November. She said she was worried that she would lose health insurance to cover her husband who had a stroke and heart attack if not recalled by September.

“I’m worried about losing everything,” she said.

Also, the emphasis on the city’s outlook is the reduction in visits by tourists dribbling and adventuring rather than driving.

In 2019, New York welcomed more than 66 million out-of-town people and spent more than $ 45 billion on hotels, restaurants, shops and theaters. City officials expect it will take years to re-attract a large number of visitors, especially spending foreign tourists and business travelers, on their expense accounts.

Ellen V. Futter, director of the American Museum of Natural History, said domestic tourism is recovering faster than expected. “The locals are out and happy to do that,” Fatter said. However, the shortage of foreign visitors “will slow the pace of recovery,” she said.

That delay will cause long-term distress for many companies. Employment in hotels and restaurants is about 150,000 less than before the pandemic, and jobs in the performing arts are down by about 40,000.

Certainly, there are signs of economic strengthening. After many residents fled the city last year, high-priced condominiums soared again, and the rental market has remained strong after the price decline.

Real estate giant Rudin Management is reducing the concessions it offered to attract tenants during the heyday of the pandemic. William C. Rudin, CEO of the company, said: “We didn’t receive those calls for a year.”

More New Yorkers are coming out. When the Queen’s Rockaway Hotel opened in September after years of planning, it was historically a fashionable destination in the working-class beach district. , Managing partner.

Since the resumption of indoor dining in February, the 53-room hotel has had a weekend occupancy of 80%, Tubridy said. Recently, with more visitors from California and the Midwest, he reports a flood of inquiries about weddings and birthday parties.

As the hotel prepares for its first opportunity to serve a bustling summer crowd on Rockaway Beach, Tablidi aims to add 100 employees to its current 180 staff. ..

Amy Shelver is also seeing signs of a better era. When the pandemic broke out, she was forced to close all but two Amy’s Bread shops in New York City and fire more than 100 employees. She decided to make her own cakes and pastries in the kitchen in Long Island City, Queens.

But now, Mr. Sherber has rehired some of his employees, overseeing the steady increase in baguette and other bread production, while four bakery crews are handling pastries. .. She has reopened at Chelsea Market, a tourist destination in Manhattan, and is preparing to reopen other retail stores. Her wholesale business is recovering as the restaurant, which had been closed for several months, is ordering dinner rolls again.

“In the last few weeks, the business has finally begun to recover a bit,” said Scherber, who started the business 29 years ago. She said she was hoping for a strong recovery. But she added, “I think it will take a few years for this city to become an economy.”

Even after the pandemic, New York faces long-lasting economic sacrifices

Source link Even after the pandemic, New York faces long-lasting economic sacrifices

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