With fast-food strikes across the country this week, The Los Angeles Times asked us to provide job growth and wage data on fast-food workers in the nation’s largest metros. Similar to EMSI data featured by Richard Florida in The Atlantic Cities, the numbers we sent to the LA Times (see here and here) show striking growth in Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, Salt Lake City — and almost every other large metro.
But the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro outperformed all the rest in total fast-food jobs added since 2007 and was just behind Austin with the second-best percentage growth among the 50 largest metros.
This made us curious about the New York City economy in general and the types of jobs that are in demand. Rather than examine the gigantic metro, we focused on just the five boroughs based on their county definitions. And looking at EMSI’s recently released 2013.3 dataset, it quickly became evident that fast-food occupations aren’t the only low-wage fields growing in a city that includes two boroughs (Manhattan and Brooklyn) that have highest cost of living in the U.S, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).
Since the end of the recession (2010-2013), New York City’s workforce has grown 6.2%. But jobs that fit in the low-wage category (with median wages below $13.84 per hour, using the National Employment Law Project’s criteria) have grown 11.4%. And jobs that pay above $21.14 per hour — the high-wage category — have grown just 4.4%.
What types of low-wage jobs are we talking about? Retail salespersons have added an estimated 13,000 new jobs since the start of 2010 in New York City, eclipsing every other detailed occupation in total growth. The next-most positions added have come in the fast-food realm — combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food have added 12,493 estimated jobs (up 24%). And third and fourth are home health aides and personal care aides.
In all, the eight occupations that have expanded their workforce the most since 2010 in New York City typically require short-term on-the-job training. All pay no more than $15 per hour at the median level in the city. And after the top eight, two of the next three (janitors and customer service reps) also require on average short-term training.
The following table shows every occupation in the five boroughs that have added at least 2,500 jobs from 2010 to 2013.
Note: EMSI’s 2013 job numbers are partial projections based on state and federal data sources. The data comes from EMSI’s 2013.3 QCEW employees dataset, which measures wage-and-salary workers as tracked by the BLS. These job totals do not include self-employed workers.
|SOC||Description||2013 Jobs||Job Growth Since 2010||% Job Growth||2013 National Location Quotient||Median Hourly Earnings||Education Level|
|Source: QCEW Employees - EMSI 2013.3 Class of Worker|
|41-2031||Retail Salespersons||122,192||12,999||12%||0.98||$11.08||Short-term on-the-job training|
|35-3021||Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food||64,591||12,493||24%||0.74||$9.12||Short-term on-the-job training|
|31-1011||Home Health Aides||78,832||11,373||17%||3.07||$9.73||Short-term on-the-job training|
|39-9021||Personal Care Aides||78,302||8,579||12%||2.27||$10.53||Short-term on-the-job training|
|41-2011||Cashiers||71,604||7,515||12%||0.75||$8.15||Short-term on-the-job training|
|35-3031||Waiters and Waitresses||58,562||6,528||13%||0.85||$10.02||Short-term on-the-job training|
|33-9032||Security Guards||66,250||5,596||9%||2.15||$13.95||Short-term on-the-job training|
|43-9061||Office Clerks, General||101,335||4,640||5%||1.24||$15.00||Short-term on-the-job training|
|13-2011||Accountants and Auditors||52,920||4,614||10%||1.56||$41.74||Bachelor's degree|
|37-2011||Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners||87,969||4,311||5%||1.45||$15.34||Short-term on-the-job training|
|43-4051||Customer Service Representatives||60,788||3,767||7%||0.91||$18.50||Short-term on-the-job training|
|13-1161||Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||22,827||3,334||17%||1.93||$37.19||Bachelor's degree|
|35-2014||Cooks, Restaurant||26,756||3,316||14%||0.90||$13.21||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|43-5081||Stock Clerks and Order Fillers||42,886||3,306||8%||0.83||$10.16||Short-term on-the-job training|
|15-1132||Software Developers, Applications||24,000||3,304||16%||1.37||$53.02||Bachelor's degree|
|35-2021||Food Preparation Workers||24,944||3,147||14%||1.08||$11.77||Short-term on-the-job training|
|29-1141||Registered Nurses||70,862||3,027||4%||0.92||$39.12||Associate's degree|
|25-1099||Postsecondary Teachers||54,732||2,723||5%||1.31||$36.05||Doctoral degree|
|53-7062||Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand||33,711||2,635||8%||0.54||$12.86||Short-term on-the-job training|
We mentioned the sky-high cost of living Manhattan and Brooklyn, so what the fastest-growing jobs in each borough? Here’s the top three since 2010 by total new jobs. Keep in mind that’s it not completely surprising to see these lists, as well as the above table, populated by low-wage jobs, since they account for so many total jobs in high population areas.
New York County (Manhattan):
- No. 1, retail salespersons (10,438 new jobs, 17% growth)
- No. 2, combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food (6,519 new jobs, 25% growth)
- No. 3, waiters and waitresses (4,440 new jobs, 12% growth)
Two high-skill occupations — accountants (3,726 new jobs) and applications software developers (2,945) — come in just below these top three in New York County. But notice it accounts for 10,438 of 13,000 new retail salesperson jobs. Not a surprise by any means, given that Manhattan is a high-end retail center.
Kings County (Brooklyn):
- No. 1, home health aides (5,179 new jobs, 23% growth)
- No. 2, personal care aides (3,813 new jobs, 18% growth)
- No. 3, retail salespersons (2,016 new jobs, 11% growth)
In Brooklyn, home health aides ($9.03 median wage) are growing rapidly and already strongly concentrated — the borough has more than 7.5 times of these low-wage workers than the national share.
In all, the top 15 jobs in terms of jobs added since 2010 in Kings County require short- or moderate-term on-the-job training.
- No. 1, combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food (2,560 new jobs, 24% growth)
- No. 2, home health aides (2,163 new jobs, 15% growth)
- No. 3, janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners (1,899 new jobs, 16% growth)
Like Kings County, the majority of fast-growing jobs in Queens County are of the low-wage, low-skill variety.
- No. 1, combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food (1,021 new jobs, 21% growth)
- No. 2, personal care aides (947 new jobs, 12% growth)
- No. 3, home health aides (813 new jobs, 10% growth)
Richmond County (Staten Island)
- No. 1, combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food (409 new jobs, 18% growth)
- No. 2, home health aides (302 new jobs, 14% growth)
- No. 3, security guards (235 new jobs, 27% growth)
Data shown in this post comes from Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market data and analysis tool. For more information on EMSI, contact Josh Wright (email@example.com). Follow Wright on Twitter at @ByJoshWright and EMSI at @DesktopEcon.