NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City is experiencing its fastest rate of job growth in nearly 25 years, but most of the jobs are being created in low-paying industries, according to a report by the city’s top financial watchdog on Thursday.
The city added 47,000 jobs in the third quarter, all of which were in the private sector, New York City’s Comptroller office said in its quarterly report on the city’s economy. That was a record number for the city and equated to growth of 5.4 percent, the highest since 1990.
The surge in jobs was underpinned by the quickest pace of growth in a year in the city’s more than $1 trillion economy.
“A surge in venture capital investment, a sharp increase in payroll jobs, rebounding residential and commercial real estate activities, and tourism contributed to the city’s growth,” the report said.
New York City’s economy is vast. A report last year by the United States Conference of Mayors estimated the size of the metropolitan economy, which includes northern New Jersey and Long Island, at $1.4 trillion.
It is the largest city economy in the United States and also the thirteenth largest economy in the world, exceeding in size Spain, Mexico and South Korea.
The increase in jobs also helped generate a record level of tax collections in the third quarter. Tax withheld from paychecks rose nearly 9 percent to $1.6 billion, the best third quarter for the city ever, the report said.
Jobs growth in New York City was also much higher than the national rate, which reached 2.1 percent in the last quarter.
The city’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent during the quarter, the lowest quarterly average since the fourth quarter of 2008 when unemployment was 6.6 percent, the report said.
The biggest jobs gains were in education and health services, which added 19,000. Average pay in the industry is $37,000. That compares to just 3,000 in the financial services, where the average wage is $356,000.
The city’s construction industry lost 1,000 jobs over the quarter and was the only city industry to lose jobs, according to the report.
Overall, the city’s output, measured as real “gross city product,” rose an estimated 4 percent during the quarter, the fastest rate since the third quarter of 2013.
Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Lisa Shumaker