Beset by the impact from the national recession and a Wall Street implosion, New York City’s private sector contracted in November for the first time since 2004, according to a report posted on the Office of Management and Budget Web site last week.
Year-over-year private-sector employment fell by a net 0.5%, which translates into roughly 17,000 jobs.
While the city was still adding jobs in the early part of 2008, it lost 32,000 private-sector jobs from September through November, including 7,000 jobs in the retail trade, and 5,000 jobs in hospitality and leisure. The securities industry has lost 17,000 jobs in the past 12 months.
Unemployment rose sharply to 6.3% in November, compared to 5.1% November 2007.
The New York City office market has been hammered as well. Firms leased city office space in the first 11 months of 2008 at the slowest pace since 2003, according to the report. Leasing activity totaled 16.3 million square feet for the first 11 months of 2008. The vacancy rate for Class A office space shot up to 8.2% in November from 5.2% in November 2007. The epicenter of office vacancy is in Midtown North, where vacant space increased by more than 50% over 12 months to 16 million square feet, a 9% vacancy rate for the area.
The bursting housing bubble has not hit the city as hard as many other locales, but foreclosures spiked in the second quarter of 2008 to roughly 950, compared to approximately 650 during the same period a year earlier.