Category Archives: Employment

Is Remote Working the Future for New York City?

Many places of work are pushing for employees to continue to do their assignments from home, even post-pandemic.  The lower costs, the benefit to the environment and the less time spent commuting rendering more quality hours with the family are just some of the many benefits that people and companies are seeing.

Taking a look at New York we see this new way of working has become very popular.  Take Spotify for example which used to fill 16 floors at Lower Manhattan’s 4 World Trade Center.  This is no longer the case; in fact, it’s practically empty since the company’s executive management have told its workers they can work anywhere they want; they do not even have to be in New York!  MediaMath has taken the same route. This NYC-headquartered advertising tech firm has also moved out, having seen how productive remote working has been. 

Salesforce – that once had its workers in a 630-foot building – is taking a similar (but not identical) approach.  Rather than go the whole hog, this Midtown Manhattan headquartered firm is telling its staff to come in one-tree days a week and work the rest at home. 

What this will mean for New York – and its central island Manhattan which has been primarily sustained by 1.6 million daily commuters – remains to be seen but Mayor de Blasio is already working on encouraging New Yorkers to return.  He is doing this by having his own municipality workers (that totals approximately 80,000 individuals) come back early next month referring to his decision as “…an important step for the city, and  another important step on the way to the full recovery of New York City.”

Commuting in and out of New York has (understandably) decreased substantially.  Those using the Metro North Railway (serving Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Grand Central Station) have decreased by at least 78 percent from last year. Right now, it is estimated

Members polled by the Partnership for New York City reported that so far 10 percent of workers have returned to the office and it is anticipated that by September this figure will have increased to 45 percent.  At the same time, more than half of those who used to go into the office will now permanently work remotely.

Getting Jobs: Industries to Watch

According to two faculty members at Stony Brook University – Danielle McHeffey and Michael Nugent – students looking to start their careers could do worse than join the risk management and insurance fields. They believe that these areas of employment offer “unlimited promise and wide appeal.”

As well as being a great place to start, the industry has openings in top executive positions too.  And for those who attend Stony Brook, McHeffey and Nugent are looking to expand course options in this discipline at the educational institute’s College of Business.

The other good news for New Yorkers looking for jobs – or those who want to make New York their homes or return from out of town – is that rental prices in the state have dropped significantly since the coronavirus outbreak.  According to a recent Bloomberg piece, those just entering the career ladder have a great opportunity now as the latest figures for New York rentals had dropped by 22 percent per anum for a one bedroom.  

Another career path New Yorkers (and those throughout the nation) could take is cybersecurity with a recent report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics suggesting that:

“The number of information security analyst positions is anticipated to grow 31% between 2019 and 2029, while the median annual salary for security analysts soared to $99,730 in 2019.”

And another good reason to live and work in New York comes with Gov. Cuomo’s recent announcement of $9.5 million to be given to 75 businesses, community-organizations and schools as part of New York state’s  historic Workforce Development Initiative. This will be put toward job training and employment opportunities for close to 5,000 New Yorkers.

Post Covid-19: Will NY Workers Return to Offices?

Since many executives have been forced to work from home and it has been pretty successful, there is now talk of the likelihood of many of them not returning en masse to the buildings. Three large corporations: Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley seem to be adopting this policy in Manhattan according to research firm Nielsen.  What this will ultimately settle into is that of its approximately 3,000 members of staff, they will return to the office here and there but no longer full-time.

Such a move will substantially reduce the city’s carbon footprint, ease public transportation but at the same time result in a decrease in trade for local eateries and other commercial trade.

In addition, Twitter is following suit.  Last week, Jack Dorsey, the company’s CEO told his entire staff that they could carry on working from home “forever.”  However, the doors will remain open for those who would like to return to the familiar office structure; he will leave the decision with them.  And, in those cases, the office regulations and guidelines will apply so that working from the office will take on a completely different feel.  The process will be “careful, intentional…and gradual.”

This new work from home policy will hugely benefit people in all cities and mean that relocation will be less common.

Summer Youth Jobs

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in New York, the summer youth job program was canceled.  Now however, some lawmakers in the region are asking for it to be re-instated.  According to Justin Brannan, a  member of the city council:

“Budget cuts will be an unfortunate reality this year, but when we’re talking about 75,000 youth and their families who will lose this opportunity, we need to get creative and figure it out. I  think a public-private partnership here would make a lot of sense.”

President of Partnership for NYC Kathryn Wylde, pointed out that it was not likely the large amount of individuals hoping for job placements in the summer would be getting them.  This will not happen until the economic recovery from COVID-19 is much more in place.  While there are some potential virtual internships, many jobs have to be done in-house.  And, given the other challenges that New York is encountering, it is unlikely the summer youth job placements will become top priority.

New York: Businesses Hiring

With what is happening to the economy in America and indeed the world due to coronavirus, is there anything optimistic on which to focus?  Here, in New York, we would like to think there is.

True there is no denying that unemployment figures are substantially up.  Currently we don’t have the figures since the government is asking states to delay publication but we do know that New Yorkers – like those throughout the nation – are suffering.

However, there is one industry where employment is booming and there are vacancies to be filled: grocery stores. Even though of course our administration is taking measures to limit the spread of the virus (Kudos to Cuomo) people still need to buy food.  Thus grocery stores are considered one of those essential workplaces during this time.

In fact, just take a look in most local convenience stores and supermarkets and you will find items flying off the shelves quicker than staff can re-stock.  As such, Tops, Stop & Shop, ShopRite and Price Chopper are looking to hire.  In  a recent statement, ShopRite said:

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ShopRite is experiencing an unprecedented increase in consumer demand and volume at our supermarkets and we are looking to fill a variety of positions across our stores and warehouses.”

Furthermore, Hannaford Brothers Company reported that it is hiring throughout its 182 locations based in New York and New England as consumer demand continues to increase.

NYC: The Not-So-“Lone” Recipient

While sometimes loans are necessary and just a part of everyday living (one example being for a mortgage), sometimes they can be incredibly overwhelming.  This has become the situation with many taxi drivers in New York City.

In an endeavor to facilitate this situation, a panel of individuals has been appointed by the New York City Council.  A bailout for the many taxi drivers who have been exploited by loans is being proposed.  The price tag could potentially hit $500m with a new partnership made up of public officials and private individuals who would take on the debt that cab drivers have which they used to buy their own cabs. Many of them fell into the category of immigrants who wanted to find a way to make money when they first came. According to City Council speaker Corey Johnson:

“We know that folks in this industry have suffered tremendously. I’m really excited that after six months of painstaking work and effort, the task force is going to be releasing a variety of recommendations that we think could stabilize the industry, plan for the future and help alleviate the suffering.”

Cab drivers aren’t the only New Yorkers who have been overwhelmed by loans.  But earlier this month a very old student debt was just reversed in New York Bankruptcy Court. The argument used by the lawyer in the case was the enormity of the debt that was too unrealistic to be paid.

Between 1993-1996, Kevin Rosenberg took out student loans, then went to the Navy for five years and then needed more loans for his 2001-2004 stint in law school.  All in all he owed over $116,000 which swelled to $221,000 by the end of 2019.  While paying it back he ended up with negative $1,500 per month.

New York: Why It’s “Working”

New Yorkers are currently facing a strong job market.  According to a recent Fed report published by the Center for Microeconomic Data, lower income workers are increasingly meeting with the opportunity to leave their current positions as better jobs are coming up.  This rate is higher than it has been in five years.

In addition, CareerBuilder Chief People Officer Michelle Armer believes this trend is “unsurprising” given the current job climate and opportunities that exist.  Further, she refers to a study that predicted an increase of 3.1 million low-wage jobs from now until 2023, giving individuals the ability to look around and not necessarily accept the first job offer that comes their way.  As well as wages, there are benefits and other perks that could sway one to take a different job.

In New York itself, employment in the clean energy sector is booming. According to a recently report from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, 77 percent of all clean energy employment in the region is in energy efficiency.  Clean energy as an employment sector is very strong – in all its capacities – throughout the entire area.

NYC: Industries Generating Income


Industries ebb and flow with how they generate income.  The two sectors we will focus on here are: beer and fitness.  They are currently providing New Yorkers with jobs and the economy with wealth.

It seems that beer is good business.  At least in New York.  The industry’s growth has been so impressive that last year a staggering $3.5 billion was generated in “direct economic impact, through beer production, sales and the operation of brewery tasting rooms” according to a report undertaken by John Dunham and Associates (JDA). 

More than the revenue is the job market.  The industry in New York alone is giving 11,000 people jobs, equaling $722 million in salaries.  In fact, it’s estimated that without a trace of the beer industry, 20,000 jobs wouldn’t exist.  Add this to the mix  and the value generated by the beer industry was $5.4 billion for 2018. And that doesn’t even include the $1.1 billion that comes from the purchase of supplies, marketing, sales, etc. It’s a big industry.

Fitness has long been a growing industry.  New Yorkers are not alone in their love of the fitness industry.  In fact sometimes it seems that every other week there is a new class or fitness factory.  Throughout America, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), there is at least a 3 to 4 percent annual increase within the industry and around 20% of US adults have a fitness club membership. According to Statista, US consumers are spending $30 billion per year on gym memberships.

Looking into New York’s East Village we find the growth of Crunch Fitness.  The firm opened its doors over three decades ago and since then has expanded significantly.  With an app that syncs with the Apple Watch, over 100 online workouts for those who want to stay home and 25,000 square feet for those who want to actually go to the gym, this seems to be an example of how seriously New Yorkers take their workouts.

Workers in New York: Fighting for Rights

workers’ rights

It seems Mayor de Blasio wants to fight for more rights for New York City workers, in particular, for paid vacation.  He is attempting to make New York the first US state to “require private businesses to provide time off with pay.”

Some small business owners in the region are not in favor of this, especially given the additional strain the increased minimum wage has put on them.  If the proposal becomes law, business owners would be forced to give their full time employees a minimum of 10 paid vacation days a year; a number that would be pro-rated for part-time employees.  This would be in addition to paid sick leave.

While some business owners would like to do this, they claim it is just not realistic and that the Mayor is not looking out for SME owners to help them “make ends meet.”

Meanwhile around 150 people are set to lose their jobs altogether as AT&T closes its Syracuse call center.  The center is moving to Orange Park, Florida where lower wages will be paid.  According to the Communications Workers of America Union, approximately 50 people have accepted the transfers, leaving 100 without work.  So now union workers are calling upon the Save NY Call Center Jobs Coalition to pass a bill to require NY call center operators to inform the Department of Labor should they move 30 percent or more of their workers out of the state.  Should they still go ahead, they would not be privy to any state benefits for five years.