Why New York's economic recovery will take a long time

Restaurants in New York City are starting to hire back more employees. The outlook is optimistic. However, the city lost more jobs in almost every industry that exists. And as a result, experts say its recovery is going to be slow.

The Red Hook Lobster Pound in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is bouncing back. But the owner, Susan Povich, says her other locations remain closed. 

"We have a location in Midtown that from a business point of view, which is, there aren't enough people in Midtown," Povich said. "We rely upon office workers."

Barbara Byrne Denham, an economist with Oxford Economics, said New York City's restaurants lost more than two-thirds of their jobs.

"So their recovery, they've doubled their employment, but they're still way behind," she said.

The entire city is way behind in recovering from the pandemic compared to the rest of the country.

"We're still almost dead last in terms of the recovery," Denham said.

That's because the city suffered disproportionately more than every other city in the country. New York lost about 900,000 jobs.

"We're going to recover at a slower rate than the rest of the country," Denham said. "Oxford Economics forecasts show the recovery not until the end of 2022 or even beyond into 2023."

The city's unemployment rate is currently 11.4%, which is double the rate in other parts of the nation. As an international city, New York relies heavily on tourism and business travel, which directly impacts restaurants, theaters, and hotels.

"We're not going to see the business tourism and the international tourism for another couple of years because business travelers don't need to travel like they had in the past," Denham said. "People can Zoom into business conferences, and the international travel is not coming back either."

The bottom line is the city still has a long way to go.

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