On Friday we enthusiastically pointed out that in February, the US economy added nearly 60,000 new waiters and bartenders, the largest increase since August 2013, in what is obviously a sure sign that US economic growth has finally reached “escape velocity” (nevermind that real GDP growth is tracking around 1.2%). We also noted that even as the unemployment rate ticks lower, the number of Americans not in the labor force just hit a fresh high of nearly 93,000,000 while the labor force participation rate sits at a nearly four decade low. Finally, we thought it worth mentioning that February’s auto sales numbers and the rising rate of repeat foreclosures in January suggest that perhaps autos and housing aren’t doing as well as the media would have you believe.
It is against this backdrop that we present the following, which should serve as further evidence of the underlying strength in the US economy...
Volunteers of America, which has offices at LaGuardia and JFK, counted a monthly average of 45 chronic homeless people at LaGuardia in 2014, an 80 percent increase over the average month in 2011. On the coldest nights, as many as 50 took refuge at LaGuardia in East Elmhurst, Queens. JFK’s chronic homeless increased to an average of 33 per month, double the number in 2011.
“There’s some new faces,” said Sharan Kaur, an assistant general manager at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, who’s worked at LaGuardia for five years.
Conditions at the airports reflect the growth of homelessness in the most populous U.S. city. Every night, more than 60,000 people—almost 26,000 of them children—sleep in shelters, an increase of about 20,000 in three years,according to the Coalition for the Homeless, a New York-based advocacy group.
City officials estimate that an additional 3,357 homeless people were living on streets, in parks, and in other public places in 2014, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. Homeless advocates say that number is much higher.
“If we do not take immediate, bold steps, the crisis will keep growing with an increasing human toll,” de Blasio told a legislative budget panel in Albany last month.