Bronx Private Sector Job Growth Outpaced Rest of City, While Unemployment Rate Grew


[NOTE: This post has been updated on 7/12 at 2:00PM to reflect that the Village Voice also found that the data reported doesn’t show the overall picture that is being presented by the Daily News or Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, along with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli]

A new report came out yesterday which indicated that the Bronx outpaced every other borough in increase of non government employment.

The Daily News reports that roughly 40% of the job growth in the borough came in the healthcare field between 2001 and 2011. Salaries, however, remained flat with less than a 1% increase during that same period.

Other highlights from the News found:

-The average Bronx resident’s salary jumped 14% to $32,058 in 2011 from $27,743 in 2000. And the booming private sector pays better than average — roughly $43,000 on average — but those salaries only jumped .7% over the last decade, essentially flat.

-Office rents nearly tripled in the Bronx from $10.23 per square foot in 2000 to $28.26 per square foot in 2011 — the largest increase in the five boroughs over that time period.

– The Bronx’s homeownership rate of 20.7% is the lowest rate city wide.

– And the worst news? The Bronx still has the highest level of unemployment of any borough — 12.7%

Read more at the Daily News:

This is excellent news for the Bronx as it shows that confidence in the borough has increased as crime has dramatically decreased, our prime location between Manhattan, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey but if we gained so many jobs then why did unemployment go up so dramatically?

Outpacing the rest of the city in private sector Jobs by a rate of 6 times over the rest of the city should have brought down our employment rate but it didn’t.

Is this indicative that Bronxites aren’t getting these jobs? By February 2012, just two months after the end of the 10 year study date of the report, unemployment in the Bronx had reached a staggering 14.2% from slightly over 9% in 2001.

During this time,  over 50,000 jobs came to the borough. Roughly the same amount of residents that the population grew by in the 2010 census. So that shouldn’t be a major factor.

I’m no economist but when you take both parts of the equation, the picture doesn’t look all that rosy for Bronxites particularly when we’re told by elected officials that we should accept bad deals based on the jobs they are bringing for us.

More questions arise in my mind than our answered by the data. If residents are not getting these jobs, does that mean our population lacks the necessary skills and education? What about the poor quality of health of our residents plagued by some of the highest rates of asthma, diabetes and heart disease – how does this effect employability? How does it effect education?

Thoughts? Anyone care to provide insights on the issues presented?

Also check out the Village Voice where journalist Albert Samaha spoke about similar concerns.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.