Jobs in Brooklyn Are On the Rise

The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, circa 1920. Credit: the Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn is the king of economic growth in New York City, according to a new report issued by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. From 2003 to 2012, the number of business in Brooklyn increased by 21 percent, and the number of private-sector jobs grew at twice the rate of the rest of the city. Total private sector wages grew by 42 percent for the ten year period, faster than any borough outside of Manhattan.

“Business in Brooklyn is booming and people want to live there because of the borough’s economic opportunities, its diversity and its outstanding schools, museums and nightlife,” DiNapoli said in a press release. “While Brooklyn faces challenges such as unemployment and the high cost of housing, the borough’s overall economy is flourishing and is poised to keep growing.”

The report illustrates a number of other surprising findings. One is that, in 2012, for the first time in decades, manufacturing jobs edged up in Brooklyn. Food manufacturing was the largest part of the manufacturing bump, with accounting for 27 percent of all such jobs in 2012, followed by apparel manufacturing. The the largest employer in Brooklyn is the health care and social assistance sector, while the leisure and hospitality sector had the fastest rate of job growth between 2008 and 2012, as hotels went up across the borough.

Two other stats of note: unemployment in Brooklyn has declined from a peak of 10.9 percent during the recession to 8.9 percent during the first quarter of 2014, but the rate remains much higher in some of the borough’s neighborhoods–more than 50% above the average in census tracts located in and around Brownsville, Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Coney Island, Crown Heights, East New York, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. And immigrants accounted for 39 percent of the borough’s residents in 2012, the third-largest share of any large county in the nation.

Follow Phillip Pantuso on Twitter @phillippantuso.

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