Photo Courtesy of Comptroller DiNapoli’s Office
“Economic growth is evident across the borough,” according to DiNapoli’s report.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Record numbers of jobs and businesses, and an all-time low unemployment rate are the key ingredients in the recipe for a booming economy.
And according to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Queens is well-stocked with all three.
In delivering his “Economic Snapshot of Queens” on Friday at Borough Hall, DiNapoli hailed the World’s Borough’s “bright future and soaring economy.”
Specifically, DiNapoli noted that South Queens is on the rise. Private-sector job growth was fastest in the Howard Beach and Ozone Park area, rising by 43 percent between 2009 and 2017. Richmond Hill has enjoyed a 34-percent increase in private-sector job growth during the same period.
Howard Beach and Ozone Park were among the top communities in Queens in median household income growth, jumping 29 percent between 2010 and 2016.
Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, DiNapoli pointed out that taxable business sales in Queens grew by 54 percent (faster than the citywide growth rate of 44 percent), reaching a record of $12.9 billion in 2016. The areas with the fastest growth in sales were Howard Beach and Ozone Park, Jackson Heights and North Corona, Astoria and Long Island City, and Flushing.
The borough accounted for 58 percent of all transportation jobs in the city and 96 percent of air transportation jobs. John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports together employed 49,000 people and contributed $64.4 billion in economic activity to the New York–New Jersey metropolitan region in 2017. Both airports are undergoing major upgrades, which will create thousands of new jobs, DiNapoli added.
Approximately 44 percent of households in Queens own their own homes (including cooperatives and condominiums), higher than the citywide share (32 percent). Ownership rates were highest (about 70 percent) in areas such as Howard Beach and Ozone Park, Queens Village, Cambria Heights, and Rosedale.
“It’s heartening to see our district showing median household income is growing at a rate among the fastest in Queens and that we had the fastest business sales growth and neighborhood job growth from 2009-2016, especially in light of the major damage to our business community by [Superstorm] Sandy in 2012,” Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton told The Forum on Monday. “The Queens economy has been on the right track and CB 10 (Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, South Richmond Hill) is proud that its residents and businesses are contributing to and are part of our borough’s strong economic picture.”
Other findings in DiNapoli’s report include:
• As of Sept. 30, 2017, private sector employment was on pace to reach a record 567,800 jobs in 2017.
• The average private sector salary was $48,400 in 2016 (the latest available data), the highest among the four boroughs outside of Manhattan.
• A 49 percent increase in construction permits between 2011 and 2017 helped fuel a 32-percent increase in construction jobs during this period. Queens had a record 52,700 construction jobs in 2017, more than in any other borough.
DiNapoli also noted that for all the positives, Queens still faces significant challenges, including school overcrowding, a need for more affordable housing, and long commute times.