One of my jobs as Comptroller is analyzing the long-term economic health of our city, a responsibility that requires having a very clear sense of business activity in our many vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. That’s why my office has created this compendium of Neighborhood Economic Profiles – to share with you the kind of economic and demographic data we look at every day in the Comptroller’s Office to assess where we as a city have been, and where we need to go.
In this book, you will find an economic snapshot of every borough and every Community Board district in the city, with information that charts how businesses and populations have changed between the years 2000 to 2015. It is by far the most comprehensive and up-to-date look at the City’s evolving economic landscape available today, providing everything from the number and types of businesses in your neighborhood, to changes in population, to the number of building lots zoned for commercial use, as well as information about the age, race, and commute times of local residents.
When you step back, you can see some interesting shifts in our city’s economy over the last 15 years. Consider this — the number of businesses in our most economically challenged neighborhoods has increased 41 percent since 2000, and by even more (45 percent) in neighborhoods commonly classified as gentrifying. That’s good news. But it’s also true that the benefits of that business growth have not always been broadly distributed, and that deep disparities persist along racial, educational and geographic lines.
I believe that we as a city need to do a better job of connecting local people to local jobs as neighborhoods thrive and grow, which is why I have released a separate report — The New Geography of Jobs: A Blueprint for Strengthening NYC Neighborhoods — that focuses more on strategies for empowering local residents as neighborhoods grow. In short, I believe we need to create more local wealth in all our boroughs, and we can only do that with more innovative, collaborative, and community-centric solutions.
As your Comptroller, you can be sure that I will continue to try and advance strategies that lift up all our neighborhoods. In the meantime, I hope you find these economic profiles of interest. Please don’t hesitate to call my office’s Community Action Center to request a copy, at 212-669-3916, or to make suggestions about how to make next year’s edition even more useful.
Scott M. Stringer