Pandemic’s impact on Long Island’s retail industry

In 2020, Long Island’s retail industry experienced 9.4% decline in employment compared to 2019 according to the New York state Department of Labor.

The “Retail Trade” sector includes a lot of different subsectors though, and a deeper look shows a more nuanced story.

  • “Building Material and Garden Equipment” employment decreased by 2.4%
  • “Food and Beverage Stores” employment decreased by 1.1%
  • “Health and Personal Care Stores” employment decreased by 9.1%
  • “Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores” employment decreased by 42.8%

Charted it looks like this:

Job changes by industry

Charted by these industries over the past five years, we see that the change is far worse for the clothing industry.

Job changes in 2020, indexed

The “Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores” category went from being 1.3% of LI’s total employment in 2019, to being 0.8% in 2020. We are looking at about 7,000 jobs lost there.