Editor's note: Below you'll find the week 93 release of the NYC Recovery Index, originally published June 14, 2022. Visit the NYC Recovery index homepage for the latest data.
New York City’s Economic Recovery Index remained unchanged for the week ending June 4, 2022, at a score of 73 out of 100. Positive changes were recorded in rental availability, UI claims, subway ridership, and COVID-19 hospitalizations, which declined from the highs reached last week. Meanwhile, a notable decline was seen in the number of restaurant reservations, eliminating recent gains within the city’s dining scene.
New York City’s economic recovery stands at a score of 73 out of 100, according to the New York City Recovery Index, a joint project between Investopedia and NY1. Over two years into the pandemic, New York City’s economic recovery is just under three-quarters of the way back to pre-pandemic levels.
COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate Retreats
The COVID-19 hospitalization rate in New York City fell considerably during the week ending June 4, falling to 78 average daily hospitalizations, down from a post-omicron high of 98 recorded during the previous week. Hospitalization rates remain over four times higher than the post-omicron low of 18 recorded on March 12, though this week’s decline provides an encouraging sign that infection rates and hospitalizations may have peaked. Encouragingly, rising infection rates caused by the spread of omicron subvariants have not had as drastic of an effect on hospitalizations as prior waves of the pandemic.
According to the CDC, 100% of all new cases continue to be omicron-related, with the specific BA.2.12.1 subvariant now accounting for 80.7% of new infections. Region 2 of the Department of Health and Human Services, which encompasses New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently has the highest prevalence of this subvariant among all census regions tracked by the CDC. The share of fully vaccinated New York City residents continues to inch higher, with 78.7% of residents fully immunized against COVID-19, according to NYC Health & Hospitals data.
The number of patients currently in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout city hospitals also declined, though not as drastically as hospitalizations overall. Hospitalizations declined by 20%, while ICU admittances for COVID-19 fell by only 8.9%. Furthermore, the number of patients requiring intubation declined by an even smaller share of 2.4%. This indicates that further declines in the COVID-19 hospitalization rate will be necessary over coming weeks in order to reduce the rate of more serious health complications that require ICU admittance.
Unemployment Claims Decline
Unemployment insurance (UI) claims declined by 410 total claims during the week ending June 4, reaching 4,940 claims. This decline puts the current figure below the 2019 rolling average of claims tracking the equivalent pre-pandemic week, which numbered 5,473. With current UI claims below June 2019 levels, this measure is considered fully recovered. UI claims have closely tracked pre-pandemic levels in recent weeks, fluctuating between a full recovery and being marginally above the pre-pandemic baseline.
Home Sales Decrease Slightly
Pending home sales across the five boroughs of New York City had a slight decrease for the week ending June 4, and are now about 32% above pre-pandemic levels. Week-over-week home sales declined by 49 to a total of 544. Home sales have remained well above pre-pandemic levels in recent months, driven by a surging national real estate market. Breaking down the results by borough, Manhattan now leads the citywide average with home sales 39% above its pre-pandemic baseline. Brooklyn and Queens follow with home sales 31.5% and 19% above their pre-pandemic baselines, respectively.
Rental Vacancies Surge
The number of rental vacancies in the city’s real estate market surged during the week of June 4, recording a strong gain of 803 rental units. The increase puts the total number of available vacancies at 13,439, with gains nearly recuperating the large losses witnessed over the prior week. However, current rental availability remains at just 75% of the pre-pandemic level, with a shortfall of about 3,000 rental units compared to the pre-pandemic average. Gains were also somewhat subdued compared to the typical increase encountered in June for a given pre-pandemic year.
Subway Ridership Rebounds
Subway ridership experienced a healthy rebound compared to the prior week, rising to 38% below the pre-pandemic level, compared to 40.3% previously. The MTA reported daily ridership levels averaging 2.69 million passengers. Ridership staged an encouraging rebound this week relative to the large declines experienced last week, but remains below the recent high of 33% below recovery achieved two weeks ago.
Restaurant Reservations Plunge
Restaurant reservations recorded a large decline in the week ending June 4, extending losses for the second consecutive week. The seven-day average of reservations declined to 43.7% below the pre-pandemic level, compared to 35.2% last week. With this week’s considerable decline, restaurant reservations have shed all their gains dating back to March, during a time of the year when reservations typically increase. It is a disappointing start to the summer season for New York City’s restaurant industry, with the recovery likely to be much longer than previously anticipated.