Unemployment spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses closed and public event spaces shuttered. But which industries were affected the most?
A report released by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office on Tuesday found the nearly 2 million jobs that were lost between February and April of last year were disproportionately felt in the leisure and hospitality sector.
That area of the economy, which is largely composed of low-wage workers, composed 30 percent of the job losses despite representing 9.8 percent of total employment in New York.
The silver lining is a thin one: The sector has recovered nearly 260,000 jobs since May, the largest gain in any part of the state’s economy, but only represent 43 percent of the total jobs lost.
The New York “on pause” declared last March and similar business closures across the country has led Congress to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, including direct payments to people with qualifying incomes as well as strengthened unemployment benefits.
Still, the state has struggled to regain the jobs lost over the last year, the report by DiNapoli found as COVID-19 cases continue to plateau in New York. In February of this year, employment increased by a net of 3,700 jobs.
And even as overall job growth is back in the state, some industries like government, education, and finance among them, have continued to shed jobs, the report found.