Smoke And Mirrors: NYC’s ‘Jobs Boom’ Was Really Just Taxpayer-Funded Spending Spree

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Will Kessler Contributor
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New York City’s economic rebound since the COVID-19 pandemic has been fueled by health care jobs largely fueled through government funding, according to Bloomberg.

The city lost a net of 14,100 private sector jobs in the last year as of March, excluding “education and health” jobs, according to Bloomberg. Home health care jobs in New York City are primarily paid for through programs like Medicaid that are funded by the city, state and federal taxpayers. (RELATED: Biden’s Economy Poised For Even More Disappointing Growth, Fed Estimate Shows)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams boasted in March that, under his tenure starting in January 2022, nearly 300,000 jobs had been created in the city despite huge losses taken before his time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration also pointed out that there were the most jobs ever recorded in the city at over 4.7 million.

The city has only added 16,400 jobs compared to just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, while the health care and social assistance sector has added 150,600 as of March, according to a report released by the city. The manufacturing sector has lost 9,600 jobs during that time frame, while the trade sector, including retail and wholesale, has declined by 52,600.

“It’s giving us this sense that our economy is growing when in fact it’s really just Medicaid that’s growing,” Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy, told Bloomberg.

The growth in at-home health care workers follows changes made by the state government in 2015 through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, which allows family members or close friends to be paid by Medicaid to care for individuals, according to Bloomberg. The number of people utilizing the program across the state totaled 247,538 in 2023, up from 19,512 in 2016.

The share of workers in home health aide jobs in New York City jumped from 6% in 2014 to 12% in 2024, according to Bloomberg. The average yearly wage for home health care workers is $38,280.

“The Adams administration came into office with a mission to protect public safety, rebuild our economy and make the city more livable — and we’re delivering on that mission every day,” William Fowler, City Hall spokesperson, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. “To continue pushing our economic recovery forward, we need to use every tool at our disposal, including growing sectors that benefit from public-private partnerships.”

New York state has not recovered all the jobs it lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, short just 6,200 as of April. The state has been severely affected by a population decline of over 530,000 from 2020 to 2023, similar to many other blue states like Massachusetts and California.

Adam’s office did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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