Last week the Mayor's office released a report for each of the 5 boroughs to demonstrate progress during his tenure. On Sunday, during his weekly radio show, Bloomberg stated that:
"The best way to appreciate the great things happening all over New York is to go out and see them. Last week, that’s just what we did, using the final week before the holidays to spotlight progress the city is making in so many areas, in all five boroughs. That starts with creating new jobs for New Yorkers. The final jobs report of 2013 came out last week – and it shows New York City heading into 2014 riding high. We’re on course to have a record-setting four million jobs by this year’s end."
While the total job numbers are good for the city as a whole, the number of jobs created in the Bronx Progress report over the last 12 years is less than 6% of the city's total. And while we have the second highest number of schools housing built in the city, to say that only 23,915 out of 406,000 private sector jobs over 12 years have been created in the Bronx is a bit dismal. And about 66% of the new jobs created have been in leisure and hospitality industries, despite only 6 new hotels built in the same time-frame. That doesn't mean that Bronxites are not working in the other four boroughs, but that seems to be the norm and not the exception. This means that most Bronxites are spending time and money commuting, making part of the purchases elsewhere, and don't have as much time to invest locally in their communities.
And with some sections and demographics of the Bronx having double digit unemployment since at least the 2000 census, these numbers are appalling. Investment has been slow for the Bronx, and only in the last few years has it started to change around for the borough. But it is and must change for all of our sakes. Projects like the new Kingsbridge National Ice Center and the La Central development are great news to the borough, but we must continue to better ourselves and our communities to encourage investment while we hold the feet of elected officials to the fire. Sorry to Mayor-elect DeBlasio, Bloomberg has thrown down the gauntlet and touted his own horn about job creation, how are you going to choose to respond? Hopefully better than the last 12 years. We'll have to wait and see.