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July 11, 2013


DiNapoli Releases Bronx Economic Snapshot

The Bronx has made impressive economic gains in recent decades according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Population, business and job growth has been strong and the Bronx continued to add jobs even during the Great Recession.

“The public and private sectors are creating tens of thousands of new jobs in the Bronx and contributing to the borough’s economic revival,” said DiNapoli. “More people are choosing to raise their families in the Bronx, likely because of the reduction in crime, convenient transportation network and revitalization of neighborhoods. There is still work to be done but the Bronx is moving in a positive direction.”

Private sector employment grew by 7.7 percent between 2007 and 2012, outpacing all the other boroughs except Brooklyn. Over the past three decades, the Bronx has added 53,600 jobs, an increase of 33 percent. Health care, social service and educational services accounted for nearly half of the private sector jobs in the Bronx in 2012, reflecting the large number of medical facilities and institutions of higher education located in the borough. The Bronx is home to seven large hospitals and 12 institutions of higher education.

The Bronx is home as well to some of New York City’s best-known tourist attractions including the Wild Life Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden and Yankee Stadium. In addition, performance arts are well-represented by way of the Bronx Opera Company, the Bronx Symphony Orchestra and the Bronx Arts Ensemble.

The Bronx is one of Metro-North Railroad’s fastest-growing markets, with weekday boardings tripling since 1985. Currently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is evaluating whether to add service from the East Bronx to Pennsylvania Station as part of the Penn Station Access (PSA) project. The PSA project is expected to improve commutes to Westchester County and Connecticut, as well as promote increased economic activity around the proposed new stations.

“The dynamic vision and leadership of Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. coupled with the support of the local business community has proven to be a successful platform for economic development in the Bronx,” DiNapoli stated.

“The Bronx is making great progress towards a brighter future. Our borough is changing and, as Comptroller DiNapoli’s report shows us, our economy is growing. Not only are residents feeling our rebirth but corporate America is showing great interest in the Bronx. The major development projects we see coming up in every corner of our borough are evidence of our continued transformation, and we have many more projects on the way. I’m very happy that Comptroller DiNapoli has put together this magnificent report on our borough and that he’ll be accompanying us as we take a closer look at the amazing things happening in the ‘New Bronx,’” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“We are proud of the great growth the Bronx is making in terms of economic development. The ‘New Bronx’ is entering a new age of success as we continue to see how major development projects are helping shape the Bronx into a place of economic prosperity, creating thousands of new employment opportunities for Bronxites. I am delighted that Comptroller DiNapoli will see some of our major development projects during today’s tour, and I am always happy to show off the great things that are happening in the Bronx,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

The report also noted that:

  • The number of businesses in the Bronx rose by 26 percent between 1990 and 2011. In the South Bronx, the number of businesses grew by 25 percent between 2000 and 2011.
  • Most businesses in the Bronx are small; in 2011, two-thirds employed fewer than 5 employees and 80 percent employed fewer than 10 employees. Still, the Bronx had 21 businesses that employed 1,000 or more people.
  • The Bronx added 240,000 residents between 1980 and 2012, an increase of 20 percent. The population now exceeds 1.4 million residents.
  • Total private sector wages reached $9.3 billion in 2012, the highest level on record. The average private sector salary was $43,610, higher than in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
  • Over the past 25 years, the public sector has created or rehabilitated more than 100,000 housing units, and the private sector has added thousands more.
  • The unemployment rate averaged 12.7 percent during 2012 and, although the rate remains high, it eased during the first five months of 2013.
  • Nearly one-third of Bronx residents in the labor force did not have a high school diploma in 2011 and only 17 percent had a college or advanced degree.
  • About 30 percent of all Bronx residents had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2011 (the highest county rate in the State and the highest of any urban county in the nation), but lower than the peak of 33 percent in 1993.
  • The number of serious crimes in the Bronx has fallen by 75 percent since 1990, and the number of homicides has declined by 78 percent in the past 19 years.

For a copy of the report, click HERE for English and HERE for Spanish.

For a press release from the Bronx Borough President, click HERE.


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