Stringer: NYC economy outpaces country in first quarter
Even the 54 inches of snow that hit New York City couldn’t slow its economy down, according to a new report.
Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office said on Wednesday that the city’s overall economy grew 3 percent in the first three months of the year, outpacing the country’s 0.1 percent growth.
More jobs and higher personal income tax withholding both contributed to the slight boom. The city added 18,800 payroll jobs since January, while the private sector accounted for 21,000 jobs.
The majority of the new hires were in the city’s education and health services sector.
The comptroller’s office also said the unemployment rate continued to fall, down to 7.9 in the first quarter from 8.2 percent last fall.
Overall, however, the city unemployment rate still exceeds the national rate: unemployment nationwide dropped to 6.7 between January and March. The Bronx tops the five boroughs for residents looking for work — 11.6 percent — with Brooklyn following at 8.8 percent.
Some of the city’s highest paying gigs also saw some returns. Wall Street experienced its own boon in the first three months of the year with a 16.3 percent increase in estimated tax payments, which indicate both more jobs opened and bonuses doled out.
The city’ tourism industry also seemed to be doing well. Numbers showed that more people are spending money on Broadway ticket sales, increasing attendance to 11.3 percent from this time last year. Ticket sales went up 15.1 percent, bringing in some $377 million.
At the same time, hotel occupancy decreased from 2013, down to 79.9 percent from 81.8 percent.
Still, Stringer sees reason celebrated the overall economic snapshot.
“New York City was firing on all cylinders in the first quarter of 2014 even as the national economy stalled,” Stringer said in a statement. “The economy is picking up in the Big Apple as unemployment falls and real estate heats up, which helps boost our tax revenue. Time will tell if this momentum will be carried through the rest of 2014.”
Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria