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Wed Feb 24, 2021, 08:19 PM

Two-Thirds of New York City's Arts and Culture Jobs Are Gone

New York City’s museums, sports arenas and entertainment venues are slowly coming back to life. But the sector has contracted dramatically under the pressure of the global pandemic, according to a report from the state Comptroller’s Office.

Jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation fell by 66% in 2020 from a year ago, the largest decline among the city’s economic sectors, erasing a decade of gains in what was one of New York’s most vibrant industries, the report said. The business district that includes Chelsea and midtown Manhattan was the hardest-hit area of the city, accounting for 46% of all jobs in the sector.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has had a profound and negative impact on the industry,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Wednesday in a statement. “It has forced facilities to close, thrust thousands into unemployment and pushed businesses to the brink of collapse.”

Before the pandemic, New York City drew 67 million tourists a year to take in Broadway shows, Yankees games and Madison Square Garden concerts, generating $70 billion of economic activity. This month, Governor Andrew Cuomo took steps to reopen movie theaters, amusement parks, sports arenas and other venues at limited capacity but job growth and tourism remains stunted.

As of Feb. 4, 59% of arts and entertainment businesses and 63% of sports and recreation venues in New York City have shut down altogether since the beginning of March, according to software and business-services provider Womply.


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