From the NY Federal Reserve:
The pandemic struck the New York-Northern New Jersey region early and hard, and the economy is still struggling to recover nearly two years later. Indeed, employment fell by 20 percent in New York City as the pandemic took hold, a significantly sharper decline than for the nation as a whole, and the rest of the region wasn’t far behind, creating a much larger hole to dig out of than other parts of the country. While the region saw significant growth as the economy began to heal, growth has slowed noticeably, and job shortfalls—that is, the amount by which employment remains below pre-pandemic levels—are some of the largest in the nation. Among major metro areas, job shortfalls in New York City, Buffalo, and Syracuse rank among the five worst in the country. Thus, despite much progress, the region is struggling to recover from the pandemic recession. By contrast, employment has rebounded above pre-pandemic levels in Puerto Rico, reaching a five-year high.
The New York-Northern New Jersey region saw particularly sharp job losses during the pandemic recession (February to April 2020), and the region has not yet caught up to the rest of the nation during the recovery. The chart below shows employment trends through the pandemic, indexed to pre-pandemic (February 2020) levels. With New York City emerging as the epicenter of the pandemic early on, the initial job loss of more than 20 percent in the downstate New York region greatly exceeded the national decline of 15 percent. Similarly, job losses in Northern New Jersey, Fairfield County, and upstate New York were greater than for the nation, at around 17-18 percent.