|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter(212) 788-2958|
|Debra Sproles (212) 331-6200 (HRA)|
|Bernadette O'Leary (212) 312-3525 (EDC)|
City Welfare Rolls Dip Below 600,000 for the First Time
Record Job Growth Continues Into 2000
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani-joined by Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Jason Turner, Economic Development Corporation President Michael Carey, Deputy Mayor Tony Coles, and Deputy Mayor Robert Harding-today announced that New York City had passed two historic milestones.
As of February 2000, the latest month for which data is available, City welfare rolls are down to 599,387 public assistance recipients, a 48.4% drop since March 1995. This marks the first time since April 1967 that the number of people on public assistance has been below 600,000. Also in February, 22,741 people left the welfare rolls, the largest ever single-month drop.
Job growth for 1999 set a new City record. In 1999 the City added 84,000 private sector jobs, shattering the previous record of 76,000, set in 1998.
"New York City continues to lead the nation in transforming welfare and expanding opportunity," Mayor Giuliani said. "We're moving people from dependency to self-sufficiency in record numbers, and we're outpacing the nation in economic growth. Each of these trends is, in its own right, crucial to the health of the City. But both are also intimately connected. People coming off welfare are walking into the hottest job market in memory."
HRA Commissioner Jason Turner said, "HRA has made tremendous strides in helping individuals on welfare move to self-sufficiency. The caseload reduction is especially rewarding because it shows that it's possible to help even the harder cases-people with disabilities and substance abuse problems, for instance-gain control over their lives through employment."
Deputy Mayor Anthony Coles said, "These latest figures offer further evidence that City is moving in a direction that is truly progressive. Throughout the City, thanks to the Mayor's reforms, the work ethic is being restored for hundreds of thousands of people. And we know that it's taking hold. A recent study by the Rockefeller Institute showed: 70% of the people who leave the rolls quickly find work, and 80% are still off welfare after one year."
EDC President Michael Carey said, "From new media to new hotels to burgeoning real estate developments, under the Mayor's leadership, the City is seeing record economic growth and unparalleled employment numbers. This is due to his successful efforts to cut taxes, slash red tap, reduce crime, and implement effective policies that move people from the welfare rolls to the employment rolls."
Deputy Mayor Robert Harding said, "New York City's economy is the envy of the region and the nation. As the Mayor pushes ahead with his plans for $2 billion more in targeted tax reductions and further efficiency reforms, we have every expectation that the City will continue to break records."
The City's welfare rolls peaked in March of 1995, when 1,160,593 people were receiving public assistance. The rolls have dropped every month since then, while job placement for public assistance recipients through City Job Centers has steadily risen.
After losing 348,000 private sector jobs in the early 1990s, the City has gained 380,000 jobs since December 1993. Private sector employment grew by 2.8% in the City last year, outpacing the nation's growth of 2.3%.