The national numbers are also trending in the wrong direction. Totally new unemployed Claims across the country rose 31,000 in the week ended November 14, rising to 742,000 from a revised figure of 711,000 last week. This higher national number is surprising, as is The economy seemed to be improving in the fourth quarter of the year.
While the numbers may tell one story, the facts on the ground in New York tell another. Banking locations are disappearing across New York faster than ever in the past 20 years, and many small business owners are suffering as a result. Popular Bank recently closed more than a quarter of its branches in New York, while Dime Community Bank laid off more than 20% of its employees.
Then there is the new reality in real estate. Manhattan vacancies, one of the strongest indicators of the city’s economic health, rose to over 16,000 this month, with the vacancy rate more than three times higher than a year ago. On the commercial side, things don’t look any better, as commercial property tax arrears are 50% higher than in 2019.