NYC restaurant jobs still sharply down from pre-virus levels

Executive Chef Jamie Kenyon (C) works in the kitchen with other cooks at Bottino Restaurant in Chelsea. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

New York City's restaurants are employing only slightly more than half the number of people they were before the coronavirus wreaked havoc in the industry, according to a report released Thursday by the state comptroller.

There were more than 315,000 people employed in the city restaurant sector in February, which dropped dramatically to 91,000 in April at the height of the virus surge and business restrictions, according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

As of August, that number had rebounded, but only up to 174,000, 55% of the pre-virus level.

The report found that as of the first week of September, 43% of restaurants and bars across the city had sought permits for outdoor dining. In Manhattan, 50% of establishments had gotten the permits, as did more than 40% of places in Brooklyn and Queens.

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