NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously undercut the economy of New York City, and relief money from the federal government is urgently needed to help the city restore its vigor, said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday.
"Today's figures make one thing clear: federal stimulus works, and New York City needs another, immediately," the mayor was quoted as saying in a press release.
"From ramping up testing to investing in safe schools to feeding everyone in need, our priorities are clear: public health will drive our recovery," he said.
"The federal government must do its part and pass a stimulus package that ensures our recovery can continue full speed ahead," he added.
Federal fiscal stimulus has been critical to the recovery of both New Yorkers and New York City. Expiration of the stimulus, as well as the rapid spread of the virus, threatens the recovery, according to the release.
From April to September, New Yorkers received approximately 40 billion U.S. dollars in stimulus benefits, including stimulus checks, unemployment benefits and Paycheck Protection Program loans to employers. But the benefits of stimulus are running out and private sector job growth is slowing, it added.
According to the release, in February, New York City had a record low unemployment rate of 3.4 percent and 4.7 million jobs. In March and April, as the first wave of the pandemic struck and shutdowns began, the city lost approximately 900,000 jobs.
From May to October, New York City recovered approximately 300,000 jobs, or one third of jobs lost in March and April. The unemployment rate as of October was 13.2 percent, down from 20.3 percent in June, it added.
The Democrats-controlled House of Representatives in early October passed a 2.2-trillion-dollar relief bill. Some Senate Republicans, however, insisted on a relief package below 1 trillion dollars, and failed to advance a 500-billion-dollar bill in late October.
Economists, as well as Federal Reserve officials, have repeatedly argued that more fiscal relief is needed to sustain the U.S. economic recovery, warning of dire consequences if further fiscal support is not provided in time.