The New York City Recovery Index: June 20

New York City’s economic recovery index rose by two points for the week ending June 11, 2022, reaching a score of 75 out of 100. Large increases were recorded in rental vacancies and restaurant reservations, along with a slight increase in home sales. Meanwhile, subway ridership recorded a slight decline, while the COVID-19 hospitalization rate rose.

New York City’s economic recovery stands at a score of 75 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 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 increased during the week ending June 11, as daily hospitalizations rose by 10 to 87.5 on average. The hospitalization rate has been vacillating in recent weeks, from a peak of 98 recorded two weeks ago to a recent low of 77 recorded last week. The current rate remains over five times above the post-omicron low of 18 daily hospitalizations recorded for the week of March 12. The spread of omicron subvariants remains an ongoing public health threat, although hospitalization rates have not increased as rapidly compared to prior waves of COVID-19.

The CDC continues to project that 100% of new cases remain omicron-related. The prevailing BA.2.12.1 strain now accounts for just under 70% of new infections, a slight decline from the 80% share recorded last week. Despite the decline, Region 2 of the Department of Health & Human Services, which encompasses New York, continues to have the highest share of the subvariant among all census regions tracked by the CDC. Meanwhile, the share of fully vaccinated New York City residents continues to inch marginally higher, with 78.8% of residents fully immunized against COVID-19, according to NYC Health & Hospitals data.

Unemployment Claims Rise Slightly

The number of unemployment insurance (UI) claims filed in New York City rose slightly for the week ending June 11. Total claims rose by 440, reaching 5,380. Meanwhile, the 2019 rolling average of claims, tracking the same week of 2019, rose by a comparatively smaller 147 claims, to 5,620. Unemployment claims remain 4% below the pre-pandemic baseline and are therefore still considered fully recovered.

Home Sales Increase

Citywide pending home sales rose for the week ending June 11, recording an increase of 44 sales and reaching a total of 589 weekly sales. Meanwhile, the 2019 total, tracking the equivalent pre-pandemic week, rose by just six homes to 418 in total. With home sales well above pre-pandemic levels, this component of the index remains fully recovered. Breaking down sales by borough, Queens has surged past both Manhattan and Brooklyn, after previously lagging behind its neighbors. Pending home sales in Queens were 55.5% above their pre-pandemic baseline, compared to rates of 37% and 32% in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.

Rental Availability Surges Again

Rental vacancies in New York City recorded another large increase the second consecutive week, surging by 1,128 units compared to a week earlier. As a…

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