And many of the policies and programs that we have implemented have had the one overriding objective of creating more jobs for the citizens of New York.
Our quality of life initiatives and crime fighting agenda have yielded a dramatic 36% reduction in crime since 1993. And while this historic reduction has resulted in safer streets and a better quality of life for all New Yorkers, it has also been an important factor in making New York a good city for business. It has helped us bring new businesses to our city, and to keep the businesses we have.
In terms of economic policy, all of our initiatives are geared towards one goal: producing jobs. We eliminated the commercial rent tax in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan north of 96th Street and the rest of the city to help our small and mid-sized businesses in the communities that need them most. So that companies in these areas have more money to stabilize, to grow and possibly to hire one, or two, or three, or maybe more people.
And we reduced the Hotel Occupancy tax, which had been the highest in the nation, by about one-third, which is a very large reduction in a very short period of time. This tax reduction has helped lead to back-to-back records for tourism in the City of New York, with projections for this year looking even better.
And what do all of these visitors mean to our city -- they mean jobs -- in the hotel industry, in the transportation business, in retail, restaurants and entertainment. They mean more money coming into our economy and more paychecks for New Yorkers who need them.
Under the prior administration, New Yorkers had come to expect that major corporations were fleeing our city. During those 4 years, New Yorkers watched as we lost hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs and nobody did very much about it.
Well, we didn't believe our city's best days were behind us. We believed that by working with our major employers, we could keep those jobs right here in New York City. And our economic development program has been able to do just that. Eighteen retention agreements with major employers have preserved almost 47,000 jobs for New York, with the potential to create over 15,000 more jobs.
We didn't believe that a shrinking job base was an unalterable fact. We believed that by applying sensible policies towards our business community that we could stop the flow of jobs from our city. And we were right. Not only have the jobs stopped leaving New York, but since 1993, we have actually seen almost 100,000 new jobs in the City of New York.
This is critical to our philosophy -- because unlike the status quo of New York City's political past, we don't believe that welfare, or A.F.D.C., or home relief are the best social programs. We believe that a job is the very best social program that there is.
And our welfare reforms have moved more people off welfare and into jobs than ever before in city history -- and more than any other place in the country.
The fact is there is nothing more important than creating jobs and opportunities for New Yorkers, and that is exactly what we have been doing.
From Gracie Mansion, this is Rudy Giuliani.