After decades of steady decline, Brooklyn’s share of the city’s private sector jobs is slowly inching forward, a recent study determined.
An analysis by the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan think tank based on Wall Street, found that since 1987, Brooklyn’s private sector employment share has increased steadily, moving from 12.57 percent to 14.09 percent in 2008, ranking it third citywide, behind Queens and jobs leader Manhattan.
Overall, the borough’s share has declined from 1958 when it was at 15.65 percent of the total.
Jonathan Bowles, the director of the Center for an Urban Future, said Brooklyn’s best days could be ahead of it. “It is becoming a more diverse economy, one that has real strength in creative businesses and health care,” he said.
A one time, the borough was an industrial hub, home to manufacturing factories and warehouse facilities. But a shift to a service oriented economy left the borough lagging behind.
“It is clearly trying to reinvent itself,” Bowles added.
In 1978, Kings County was overtaken by Queens for second largest share. Growth in Queens has been flat over the past 10 years, barely moving from 15.08 percent in 1998 to 15.07 percent in 2008.
Other than Brooklyn, Manhattan was the only other borough to see its private sector employment decline in the last 50 years, falling from 67.59 percent in 1958 to an all−time low of 61.59 percent in 2008. Accounting for the decline is the city’s financial services sector, which has recently suffered a “disproportionate and perhaps permanent hit.” When the economy revives, “Manhattan will undoubtedly bounce back,” but is unlikely to see as large a share of new jobs as it did 50 years ago, the study notes.
In 2008, the Bronx’s share was 6.5 percent, up from 5.36 percent in 1958, while Staten Island claimed 2.76 percent, up from .75 percent 50 years ago, according to the report.