From The Mayor’s Desk ... An Economic Plan For The Five Boroughs
New jobs numbers came out last week, and they show that New York City's economy continues to grow. Unemployment is down to 5.9%--the lowest it's been since before 9/11. During January - the last month for which there are complete figures-we gained nearly 14,000 new jobs. That puts us on course to meet or exceed forecasts that we'll produce 50,000 new private sector jobs during 2005.
As good as those statistics are, we're not resting on our laurels. From Day One, our Administration has said that creating jobs in all five boroughs is crucial to New York's future. And we're making that a reality. Last week, we opened “Hunts Point Works,” an initiative that will help local residents land jobs in the Bronx's growing wholesale food industry. And just since the first of this year, we have also:
• Agreed to lease the new Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal, which will create 600 new jobs in Red Hook by the end of the year.
• We joined the State in a “memorandum of understanding” with Forest City Ratner Companies. The City and State will each make $100 million in infrastructure improvements to the Atlantic Yards area. That sets the stage for a $2.5 billion commercial, residential, and recreational center there-the biggest development ever outside Manhattan, which will produce 8,500 permanent new jobs and be the home of a professional basketball team playing in Downtown Brooklyn.
• We signed into law tax incentives to encourage film and TV productions, like the pilots for five new television series that are now being shot in New York City. They're just part of a $5 billion a year industry that supports 100,000 jobs in all five boroughs.
• And we launched a new citywide industrial policy that will foster growth in manufacturing by establishing new industrial zones from Bathgate to Long Island City to East New York.
Our Administration is also spurring economic growth in all five boroughs-not just Manhattan-by improving safety, schools, and the quality of life. Better than 85% of the new school classroom seats created over the last two years have been outside Manhattan, and nearly 95% of the seats in the new school capital plan will be, too. More than two-thirds of the 65,000 units of affordable housing we're building and preserving are or will be outside Manhattan. And the most dramatic improvements in street cleanliness have taken place in such communities as Bushwick, Highbridge, Elmhurst, and Corona.
Given all that, it's no surprise that over the last four years, the biggest jumps in residential property values have been, first, in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens-where they've gone up by 60%--then in the Bronx, and-last-in Manhattan. That's just more proof that by making every borough more livable, more business friendly, and more economically diverse, we're putting New York City's future prosperity on a strong