Private Sector Employment Reaches New Peak in Lower Manhattan; Up for Sixth Consecutive Year

Private Sector Employment Reaches New Peak in Lower Manhattan; Up for Sixth Consecutive Year

Private sector employment climbed to more than 232,200 employees as of the end of 2015, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth and the highest point since the end of 2001, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York's Q2 2016 Lower Manhattan Real Estate Market Report released today. The gains reflect the neighborhood's diversifying workforce with increases in employment across Education and Healthcare; Hotel, Retail and Restaurant; Professional Services; and Information and Media.

"The landscape of Lower Manhattan continues to change as we welcome a major influx of stores, restaurants and hotels to the area," said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.  "The evolution of this cultural scene has not only made the area more desirable to companies across various disciplines but has also created demand for workers with different skill sets.  Downtown really offers job opportunities for all New Yorkers, now more than ever." 

Read the full report.

Leading employment growth was the Hotel, Retail and Restaurant industry, which added 2,000 new employees and was up 10 percent year-over-year.  The growth in jobs reflects the opening of 58 new stores and restaurants as well as three hotels Downtown last year. With additional openings on the calendar throughout 2016, employment in this industry will continue to rapidly grow. 

Many of the industries that have driven office leasing activity and the diversification of Lower Manhattan’s economy in recent years also saw gains in employment. Education and Healthcare added more than 1,300 employees to the private sector and significant media companies, such as TIME, which relocated in late 2015, are driving an increase in Information sector employment, which expanded by more than 1,100 employees in the final quarter of 2015 alone.

On the commercial front, the report shows mixed signals through the second quarter of 2016, echoing trends seen in other submarkets.  While office leasing was on par with activity last year, it's still below the historical average, and news of new major tenant relocations remained quiet. Despite this, there were clear areas of strength. The vacancy rate is currently below 10 percent and key Lower Manhattan companies committed to stay or expand in new locations south of Chambers Street.