Long Island’s 2020 dismal jobs report

2020 was a rough year emotionally and economically. There were talks of “V” shaped recoveries, or “K” shaped recoveries, or even “W” shaped recoveries – all of these referring to the different charts and trends that might occur depending on how well the world’s economies bounce back from the pandemic.

With a full year’s worth of data from the New York State Department of Labor, we now have a clearer picture now of what Long Island’s recovery looks like.

The chart above overlays 2020’s jobs on LI, in thousands, with 2019’s data. At a glance, it shows that LI bounced back a bit in the summer, but as the year progressed the recovery tapered out to a near standstill in December.

When we contrast it with the jobs market in 2019 however, the gap is even more apparent. Comparing December 2020 with December 2019, there is a difference of 104,000 less jobs, give or take.

We have not seen such a dismal jobs number since December 2010, a full decade ago, when our employment number was around 1,257,400.

The silver lining might be this – LI’s job recovery in 2020 fared better than NYC’s recovery.

There’s a steeper dive in April compared to NYC, but LI has also since recovered much more quickly.

However, we also know that the pandemic has affected different industries differently, and we’ll be diving into industry-level data in more detail in upcoming posts.