Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo begged citizens to return to New York City.
Cuomo reportedly told attendees of a virtual conference call for the Association for a Better New York that the city would need residents who fled the city — especially those who completed remote work elsewhere — to promptly return.
“Remember, we have to get people back and we have to get people back in volume,” said Cuomo as quoted by Fox Business. “If you were to see a 15% decline of people coming back to New York City, that would have a devastating impact on the commercial market.”
“We need people coming back,” he added. “Say to your workforce, ‘By Labor Day, everyone is back in the office.’”
“We need that volume to support the restaurants and the shops, the services,” Cuomo said. “It’s not just about your business. It’s about all the spinoff effect economic activity that your workers bring to the surrounding community.”
Leaders in the state of New York — and New York City in particular — enforced some of the most aggressive COVID-19 lockdown measures in the United States. As a result, New York is currently the lowest-ranked state for post-recession economic recovery.
According to the Back-to-Normal Index — a project of Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business that monitors economic recovery from the lockdown-induced recession — New York is only operating at 81% of its pre-recession strength. Other states with lackluster economic recoveries include Illinois (82%), California (87%), Oregon (87%), and New Mexico (86%).
CNN Business explained earlier this month that New York’s slow economic recovery is dampening other states’ growth:
In 2019, before Covid hit, New York had the third-strongest economy among US states, lagging only Texas and California. The state’s gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — was nearly $1.8 trillion, on par with the GDP of Italy. More than $1 trillion of that came from economic activity in New York City. The state contributed more than 8% to America’s overall GDP that year.
In 2020, New York’s GDP dropped to $1.7 trillion. That might not sound like a big difference, but we’re dealing in trillions of dollars here. When states that are economic powerhouses underperform, it’s not great for the recovery of the entire nation.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, recently mandated that all employees of public hospitals and health clinics receive the COVID-19 inoculations or undergo mandatory testing.
“This is literally a matter of life and death,” said de Blasio. “At a certain point, personal responsibility actually matters.”
“So, we’ve been really nice, really communicative, really respectful,” he added. “Come on people, it’s time to step forward — and we’re going to make that real clear.”