DiNapoli Report: Immigrants Praised As Backbone of Queens’ Economy

Queens has a record number of jobs and businesses, and an increase of the immigrant population, according to the economic report that state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released last week at Queens Borough Hall.

Private sector employment will reach a record of 567,800 jobs, which is an increase of 24 percent since 2009. The unemployment rate decreased from 8.6 percent in 2010 to 4 percent in 2017, which is lower than the citywide rate and lowest on record.

“The Queens economy is booming, setting employment records in each of the past six years,” DiNapoli said. “Immigrants, who make up nearly half of the population, are an important part of the borough’s success.”

The report also found Queens is the most racially and ethnically diverse county in the nation, with a population of Hispanics and Latinos making up 28 percent, whites for 25 percent, Asians for 25 percent, and Blacks or African American for 17 percent. Nearly half of New York City’s Asian American population reside in Queens.

Queens has the second-highest share of immigrants. In 2016, immigrants were 47 percent of the population and represented more than half the workforce in Queens, and 69 percent of the self-employed entrepreneurs.

“State Comptroller DiNapoli’s economic snapshot strongly underscores that Queens is hot and on the move,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “We’ve experienced growth in nearly every category, from population to jobs and small businesses, while our unemployment rate fell and incomes rose. Queens thanks State Comptroller DiNapoli and his team for preparing and publishing this thorough, accessible snapshot, which will help better inform policymakers and officials in shaping resource priorities toward more equitable growth.”

Healthcare, transportation, and retail trade remain Queen’s largest employers responsible for 105,200 jobs, 67,100 jobs, and 63,700 jobs, respectively. The two airports located in the borough are also pivotal for Queen’s economy. It generated $64.4 billion in economic activity in New York-New Jersey metropolitan region in 2017, $23 billion in wages, and created a combined 436,000 jobs, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“I look forward to the new jobs that will be created as our two airports each get a facelift and major construction projects, like the Resorts World Casino expansion, begin. I envision an even brighter future for Queens,” states life-long borough resident State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Ozone Park).

Though elected officials celebrated the developments of Queens, many others addressed still apparent issues.

“Queens still face crippling high rents, school overcrowding, and transportation deficiencies,” said State Sen. James Sanders, Jr. (D-South Ozone Park).

During the 2016-2017 school year, elementary schools in Queens operated at 116 percent of capacity, marking it the most overcrowded in the City. Education attainment remains below the citywide share of 37 percent, with nearly one-third of the population (31 percent) attaining a bachelor’s degree or higher.

To view the entire report click here.

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