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Brooklyn’s Economy Grows Faster Than Rest of NYC, DiNapoli Says

IceStone LLC Manufacturing Facility in Brooklyn
The growth in Brooklyn's economy was helped by the first uptick in manufacturing jobs in decades in 2012, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Brooklyn’s economy outpaced the rest of New York from 2003 to 2012 as private jobs grew almost twice as fast as in other parts of the city, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.

The number of business jobs in the most populous borough grew 19.8 percent while they rose by 10.6 percent in the rest of the city, DiNapoli said in a report released today. The growth was helped by the first uptick in manufacturing jobs in decades in 2012, DiNapoli said.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Brooklyn’s cachet as a global brand and capital of hipsterdom is shifting New York’s center of gravity, diminishing Manhattan and exerting more influence on political, economic and cultural life. The influx of residents has sparked a boom in commercial development to supply the new masses in the borough, home to 2.6 million people.

Job growth has been concentrated in lower-paying industries, DiNapoli said. Even as businesses in the borough paid a record $18.7 billion in wages in 2012 after earnings grew by 42 percent over the previous decade, the average Brooklyn salary reached only $38,550.

“It’s our job to make sure this is a rising tide that raises all boats,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, the first Democrat to lead New York in two decades and a Brooklyn resident, said in a statement. “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.”

Unemployment in Brooklyn was 8.9 percent during the first quarter, down from a peak of 10.9 percent during the 18-month recession that ended in 2009, DiNapoli said. The statewide rate in April was 6.7 percent, and in New York City it was 7.9 percent, according to the state Labor Department.

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