The New York City Recovery Index: October 31

Tracking NYC's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

New York City skyline looking south towards Lower Manhattan at sunset.
Getty / Amanda Hall / robertharding

Editor's note: Below you'll find the week 113 release of the NYC Recovery Index, originally published November 1, 2022. Visit the NYC Recovery index homepage for the latest data.

New York City’s economic recovery stalled for the week ending October 22, 2022, with the index score remaining unchanged at 77 out of 100. COVID-19 hospitalizations are back on the rise, climbing to their highest levels since mid-August. Unemployment claims rose for the week, but remain in line with their pre-pandemic average for this time of year. The city’s real estate market had a positive week, with rental vacancies increasing while home sales gained slightly. Subway ridership and restaurant reservations both recorded slight gains, and are near two-thirds of their pre-pandemic level.

New York City’s economic recovery stands at a score of 77 out of 100, according to the New York City Recovery Index, a joint project between Investopedia and NY1. Over two and a half years into the pandemic, New York City’s economic recovery is just over three-quarters of the way back to pre-pandemic levels.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Back on the Rise

The COVID-19 hospitalization rate in New York City is back on the rise, after moderating slightly last week. Hospitalizations for the week ended October 22 averaged 114 per day, which is 16 higher than the average of 98 per day recorded in the previous week. This marks the highest hospitalization rate since the week ended August 13, in a sign that the city’s progress in containing the pandemic has backtracked.

The CDC continues to project that virtually all current cases are omicron-related. The dominant BA.5 subvariant has diminished in recent weeks, and now accounts for just 35.7% of new cases. The newest strains, labeled BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, now account for 23.5% and 19% of recent infections in the New York region, respectively.

The share of fully vaccinated New York City residents remained unchanged this week, at 79.8% of the city’s population, according to NYC Health & Hospitals data. As of November 1, roughly 2.94 million cases—confirmed and probable, and 42,870 COVID-19-related deaths have been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Unemployment Claims Up for the Week

The number of individuals filing unemployment insurance (UI) claims rose by 430 this week, from 5,230 to 5,660. Meanwhile, the 2019 rolling average of claims, tracking the equivalent pre-pandemic week, declined by 90 claims, totaling 5,587. As such, UI claims are roughly 1% above their 2019 rolling average, remaining in line with their pre-pandemic level for this time of year, and effectively fully recovered.

Home Sales Relatively Unchanged

Pending home sales throughout New York City saw little change for the week ended October 22. Total sales increased by 18 homes, from 421 to 439 homes sold, while the 2019 rolling average of home sales rose by a similar amount, totaling 377. As such, citywide home sales are 16% above their pre-pandemic average for late October, with the index measure remaining fully recovered. By borough, Manhattan now leads the major boroughs in percentage gains since 2019, with home sales nearly 35% above their pre-pandemic baseline. Home sales in Queens follow with a 4.5% cumulative gain, while Brooklyn home sales are 3.7% below their pre-pandemic baseline.

Rental Availability Rises

The city’s rental market experienced a favorable week, with rental vacancies rising by 324 units, totaling 15,975 residences on the market. As a result, the rental inventory subindex score rose by one point, from 86 to 87 out of 100. This week’s increase nearly fully offset the previous week’s decline.

By borough, Brooklyn experienced the greatest increase in rental inventory week-over-week. Rental vacancies in Brooklyn rose 6.25% from a week prior, far exceeding a 0.43% gain in Manhattan, while vacancies in Queens fell 0.1% from a week earlier.

Subway Ridership Bumps Higher

MTA subway ridership increased slightly for the week ended October 22, rising to 35.2% below the pre-pandemic average, from 35.7% down last week. The MTA reported a total of 3.21 million average daily riders for the week. As a result, the subway mobility subindex score rose to 65 out of 100. The city’s subway would need to experience several more weeks of sustained increases to hit a new pandemic-era high, much less fully recover its pre-pandemic ridership level.

Restaurant Reservations Gain Slightly

Reservations at New York City restaurants rose slightly for the week ended October 22, following last week’s surge in reservations. The trailing seven-day average of reservations rose to 32.5% below its pre-pandemic level, from 32.9% down last week, and compared with a pandemic-era high of 25.4% down for the week ended July 2. This week’s increase puts the restaurant reservations subindex score at 67.5 out of 100. New York City’s restaurants are still missing about a third of their diners from before the pandemic, and would require more consistent weekly increases to recover a greater share of their former diners.

Research and analysis by
Adrian Nesta
Adrian Nesta, Research Analyst on the Data Journalism team at Dotdash
Adrian Nesta is a Research Analyst on the Data Journalism team at Dotdash, the digital publisher that owns and operates Investopedia. His work includes data collection, cleaning, analysis, and visualization for stories in the data journalism portfolio across every vertical at Dotdash.
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