Publication Date



[Excerpt] This article examines the behavior of New York City’s unemployment rate from several perspectives. The analysis begins by placing the unemployment rate and the growth of nonfarm jobs in their historical context. The aim is to identify other periods in which strong job growth coexisted with persistent high unemployment. Then the labor force participation rate and the employment–population ratio are examined to see if they shed light on the inertia in the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate and the count of nonfarm jobs are based on two different surveys, of households and business establishments, respectively. The two surveys have different concepts of employment, making it difficult to infer that increases in nonfarm payroll jobs will translate into proportional increases in the number of employed city residents. However, an analysis of data from another household survey—the American Community Survey (ACS)—makes possible an examination of whether that survey’s patterns are similar to those in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) household survey. The article concludes with a comparison of movements in data from the two household surveys.


Suggested Citation
Kohli, M. (2014). Persistence of a high unemployment rate in New York City during the recent recovery. Beyond the Numbers, 3(2). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.