Editor’s Note: Below is the week 99 release of the NYC Recovery Index, originally released on July 26, 2022. Visit the NYC Recovery Index homepage for the latest data.
New York City’s economic recovery surged in the week ending July 16, 2022, with the index’s overall score rising five points to 72 out of 100. Although COVID-19-related hospitalizations have continued to rise for the sixth consecutive week, stabilizing jobless claims, rising vacancies and an increase in subway ridership and restaurant reservations helped the index recover from last week’s setback.
New York City’s economic recovery stands at a score of 72 out of 100, according to the New York City Recovery Index, a joint project between Investopedia and NY1. More than two years into the pandemic, New York City’s economic recovery is nearly three-quarters back to pre-pandemic levels.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise
New York’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate has increased for the sixth straight week, with the remaining seven-day average now at about 163 people hospitalized per day, up 41 from last week. While COVID-19 hospitalizations have continued to rise for several weeks, the seven-day average hospitalizations are now just over nine times higher than the post-winter wave average of around 18 hospitalizations per day recorded early march. The sub-index for COVID-19 hospitalizations fell further to 36.7 out of 100, remaining the worst performing measure in the aggregate index.
The CDC continues to project that 100% of all new cases in New York are related to omicron, with the BA.5 subvariant now making up an overwhelming share of all new infections. About 82.4% of all new cases in the region were attributable to the BA.5 subvariant, compared to 12.4% for the BA.4 subvariant and only 5.1% for the old BA strain. 2.12.1.
The share of fully vaccinated New York residents remains little changed from last week, with 79.1% of all residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, a total of 2,705,000 cases (confirmed and probable) have been recorded in the city, along with 41,023 deaths.
Unemployment claims stabilize
The number of Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims filed in New York stabilized for the week of July 16, falling from last week’s high of 12,000 claims to 9,910. The moving average of claims for the same week in 2019 also fell, but only by 210 claims to 8,783, which puts current claims nearly 13% above pre-pandemic levels and pushes the sub-index score back up to just over of 86. Although it was a positive week for unemployment insurance claims, it would take another decrease of about 2,000 claims next week to consider the unemployment claims sub-index to have fully recovered to its levels. before the pandemic.
Pending home sales edge up
Pending home sales in New York rose slightly for the week ending July 16, with home sales now back 12.5% above pre-pandemic levels, recovering after the significant drop of last week. Indeed, home sales were up 71 homes from 412 to 483 week-over-week, while the 2019 moving average over the same period was up just 3 homes to 429, resulting in an increase in the sub-index score.
Although home sales are back above the pre-pandemic baseline, pending home sales remain significantly below levels seen through most of 2021 and 2022 (until the drop in the last week), when they were more than 50% above 2019 levels. This is an indicator that rising mortgage rates continue to affect homebuyers in New York. By borough, Queens is back in the lead with pending home sales 23.3% above 2019 levels, with Brooklyn and Manhattan at 8.9% and 3.1%, respectively.
Rental availability continues to increase
Vacant homes in New York rose again for the week ended July 16, with 16,389 homes on the market, up 962 from the previous week. The increase pushed the sub-index’s overall score to 82, which is the highest score since mid-February, bringing the rental sub-index closer to pre-pandemic levels.
Analyzing the increase in vacancies, rental inventory in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the past month appears to be growing faster compared to Queens. The number of vacant rental units in Manhattan rose 14.45% from last month, followed by Brooklyn and Queens at 11.96% and 8.43%, respectively.
New data from real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman found the median rental price in Manhattan soared to $4,050 in June, up 1.3% from May and 24.7% from last year. ‘last year. The average rental price in the city hit $5,058 for the first time last month, representing a change of 29% from June 2021.
Metro ridership gains ground
Subway ridership gained ground for the week ended July 16, with the seven-day average ridership now 37.7% below pre-pandemic levels, compared to a 43% drop last week. The increase in ridership comes after three consecutive weeks of declines, pushing the sub-index score to 62.3, the highest score since the week of June 18, 2022. For the week ended July 16, the MTA has recorded a moving average of 2.75 million per day. traffic.
Despite the week-over-week increase, overall ridership on New York’s regional transit system is ‘not recovering as hoped,’ according to a report released last week by the state comptroller of New York, Thomas P. DiNapoli. DiNapoli said that as ridership remains “well below pre-pandemic levels,” it has put the MTA in a tough financial spot as federal aid dwindles. “Unless there is an additional influx of city, state or federal aid, the MTA faces difficult options to fill its budget gaps that will impact riders,” DiNapoli said. These impacts could include service reductions, higher fares, and reduced staffing and maintenance on subways, buses, and the Metro-North and Long Island Railroad if the MTA is unable to fill the gaps. growing budget gaps.
Rise in restaurant reservations
Restaurant reservations saw a significant increase for the week of July 16, with the seven-day average rising from 43.1% below 2019 levels last week to 35.8% this week. This pushed the sub-index score back to just over 64, a positive week after last week’s correction. The summer dining scene in New York has been volatile over the past month, with all-time highs of 25.2% below pandemic levels on July 4, to lows of 44.3% the following week on July 10, before to reach common ground this week. It would take another influx of diners similar to the numbers seen over the July 4 holiday for restaurant reservations to be considered fully recovered.
In addition to an increase in restaurant reservations in the city, Times Square has also seen an increase in visitor numbers, with foot traffic averaging 344,133 people per day in June, a 103% increase from June 2021. This is the closest average number. of daily visitors to Times Square reached pre-pandemic levels, just 13% below June 2019.