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May 27, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Brooklyn is King of NYC Economic Growth

Kings County Leads the Pack in Rate of Business and Job Expansion; Manufacturing Jobs Increase for First Time in Decades

Brooklyn’s economy is expanding, adding jobs and businesses at a faster pace than the rest of New York City between 2003 and 2012, including the first increase in manufacturing jobs in 2012 after decades of losses, according to an economic snapshot of Brooklyn released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"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. "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."

"There is no question: Brooklyn is booming," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "It’s a remarkable transformation that’s changing neighborhoods and the economy. It’s our job to make sure this is a rising tide that raises all boats. We are making investments to ensure that Brooklynites have the skills to compete for high quality jobs like those coming to the borough’s tech ecosystem, and to build and preserve affordable housing so families that built successful neighborhoods can stay in them. We look forward to working with Comptroller DiNapoli and our state partners to do just that."

"An economic snapshot of Brooklyn shows the incredible economic output and opportunity we have created in the past decade, as well as the potential it has to expand that prosperity to every corner of our borough and ensure sustainable growth for our future," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "Our economy is strong because of our rich diversity, our innovative entrepreneurs as well as our burgeoning tech, creative and manufacturing industries, which have added to our traditional bulwark sectors. The road map forward is clear. We must accelerate recovery from Superstorm Sandy and become a more resilient borough, leading the way in energy efficiency and environmental soundness. We must also close Brooklyn's inequality gap, a challenge that will require improving our workforce development efforts, strengthening our STEM education programs and increasing our affordable housing stock. I thank Comptroller DiNapoli and his office for their great work on this report, and I look forward to partnering with him to ensure the next snapshot of Brooklyn’s economy presents an even better picture."

"I am delighted that Comptroller DiNapoli is focusing on the remarkable growth taking place in Brooklyn in a report that shows that Brooklyn is one of the city’s strongest economic engines," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan). "The city’s most populated borough is also the city’s fastest growing borough — and that’s a testament to its wonderful communities, great infrastructure, terrific housing and extraordinary people that are here in Brooklyn."

"The success of small businesses which started with only a few workers and an idea, such as Brooklyn Brewery, has been critical to the economy of Brooklyn, where today we have more jobs than ever before," said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn). "Today, we have a responsibility to allow everyone in Brooklyn to participate in this economy, to have access to the resources required to find a job at a good wage or to start a company."

"Thanks to Comptroller DiNapoli for his leadership and for his continued focus on the economic development trends that drive our city and our state’s economy," said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo A. Scissura. "They call us Kings County for a reason, and when it comes to economic opportunity in New York City, we definitely wear the crown. At the same time, we have to work to ensure the sustained success that has taken place in many of our neighborhoods continues work its way into the rest of the borough, and that all of our communities benefit from Brooklyn’s renaissance."

"Educated young people have been pouring into Brooklyn for the past two decades, and they responded to the 2008 recession by starting businesses in the food, beverage, media and tech sectors," said Steve Hindy, who cofounded Brooklyn Brewery in 1988. "There now is a vibrant economy in Brooklyn and an educated workforce finding new opportunities."

Since 2003, the number of businesses in Brooklyn has grown by 21 percent, a much faster rate than the rest of the city. Private sector jobs in the borough grew by 19.8 percent between 2003 and 2012, faster than any other borough and nearly twice the rate of growth (10.6 percent) in the rest of the city. There were 484,560 private sector jobs in Brooklyn in 2012, the highest level on record. While full year data is not yet available for 2013, the rate of job growth picked up and the number of private sector jobs in Brooklyn exceeded 500,000 in the third quarter.

The health care and social assistance sector was the leading employer, accounting for one-third (160,410) of all Brooklyn jobs in 2012, followed by retail trade with 64,890 jobs, and the professional and business services sector with 41,830 jobs. Jobs in leisure and hospitality grew the fastest, with a 36 percent increase between 2008 and 2012, adding nearly 10,000 jobs — mostly in bars and restaurants.

In 2012, for the first time in decades, the number of manufacturing jobs in Brooklyn rose to 19,910 spurred by an uptick of 2.5 percent. Food manufacturing was the largest part of the manufacturing base, with 5,410 jobs in 2012, followed by apparel manufacturing with 3,580 jobs. Brooklyn is also becoming increasingly attractive to high-tech and creative firms centered around the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

Downtown Brooklyn is the city’s largest business district outside of Manhattan, with a concentration of jobs in business and professional services, finance and education. While Downtown Brooklyn accounts for 17 percent of the jobs in Brooklyn, there are several other important centers of economic activity in the borough.

The private sector paid out $18.7 billion in wages in Brooklyn in 2012, which was the highest on record. Since 2003, wages have grown by 42 percent, faster wage growth than all other boroughs except Manhattan. However, the average private sector salary in Brooklyn was $38,550 in 2012, the lowest among the five boroughs. This reflects the fact that job growth has been concentrated in lower paying industries.

Brooklyn is home to 2.6 million people, the largest population of any borough in the city. The number of residents between 25 and 34 years old grew much faster in Brooklyn than in any other borough between 2000 and 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Nearly half of these residents had a college degree. Foreign born residents comprised 39 percent of Brooklyn’s population in 2012, the third highest share of any large county in the nation, after Queens and Florida’s Miami-Dade county. Immigrants living in Brooklyn came from 130 countries, with nearly one-third from the Caribbean.

Economic development in Brooklyn continues to grow with various projects underway:

  • In October 2013, the city announced plans for the final piece of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District;
  • In April 2014, the City Council approved a revised $1.5 billion plan for the redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, including an increase in the number of affordable housing units to 700 units (out of a total of 2,280 units);
  • The first phase of the Livonia Commons project is underway in East New York and includes 278 units of affordable housing, and space for The Boys Club of New York and ARTs East New York, a multicultural arts organization; and
  • The $70 million redevelopment of the former Loew’s Kings Theater on Flatbush Avenue is expected to create more than 50 permanent jobs.

The full report is available online at:


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