Editorial: Job Creation Wanted

Editorial: Job Creation Wanted

Job creation is buzzing around in the news. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that creating jobs for New Yorkers would be his number one priority. On the same day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged prestigious universities to open a satellite campus in the city and said the project would create thousands of jobs.

In Queens, Resorts World New York, set to open a new casino at Aqueduct racetrack later this summer, is touting the number of job applications it has already received to fill more than 1,000 permanent positions. Vendors for the U.S. Open tennis championship are looking for local hires to work during the August tournament.

This is welcome news for New Yorkers still struggling to make ends meet, but more needs to be done. According to the latest labor statistics, the city’s unemployment rate stands at 8.7 percent—in Queens it is 7.8 percent. If you add in those who have given up looking for work and those who are employed part-time but can’t provide for their basic needs, unemployment rates can become as high as 16 percent.

We applaud the Governor’s efforts to create jobs by creating economic development councils. These councils will submit proposals that can compete for $130 million. If Cuomo were to succeed, he would cap off a hugely successful first year as governor.

Cuomo passed an on-time budget, passed an ethics reform bill that was sorely needed and negotiated strong contracts with state labor unions, saving millions of dollars. As Cuomo shifts his focus towards job creation, however, city residents must make sure he does not forget about us.

During budget negotiations, Cuomo—like many of his Albany predecessors—cut huge amounts of funding for the city. New York City is big enough to take care of itself, the thinking goes. This can’t be the case with these economic councils.

We would never say many upstate regions need desperate help to kick-start their economies—they need and deserve this money. But the city deserves it too. It’s imperative that our local officials here in Queens makes that point abundantly clear to Albany.

 

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