Everyone of us should be proud of how far New York City has come over the last century and how much we have achieved over the last four years. Our city is safer, cleaner, and more dynamic than its been in decades. Of course, we still have many challenges to face as a city but all in all we have a lot to celebrate. I'd like to talk about one of our most recent achievements.
Last Thursday, I was very pleased to announce that New York City's tremendous growth in private sector jobs continues to set new records. Private sector employment rose 2,900 jobs this past May, bringing the number of jobs created so far to 53,200.
After losing 320,000 jobs between 1990 and 1993, over the last four years New York City has gained a total of 239,200 private sector jobs and counting. That's the highest job growth rate in any four year period in the history of the City and is the highest its been at any time since 1951.Unemployment continues to decline to 7.7 percent -- the lowest level its been since January 1995. This is the first time in a long while that New York City's decline in unemployment has outpaced both the state and the federal government.
Today, New York City is in a position of fiscal stability and strength because we have not been afraid to make difficult decisions. It took us two years of hard work to dig ourselves out of the $2.3 billion deficit left by the prior administration's election-year budget. Since then, because of good management and our refusal to use the budget as a political tool, we've turned that deficit into a record surplus.
Unfortunately, the budget the City Council is currently proposing repeats the mistakes of the past. It's filled with old-style election year spending that makes people happy today - satisfying the narrow political needs of special interests - but next year and the year after, forces the people of the City to pay the price. The plan increases the City's outyear gaps by nearly 50 percent and does serious long-term damage to the fiscal stability of the City. It's my responsibility to protect the budget from this kind of behavior.
The stability of the City comes first, not anyone's election campaign. I'm going to do all I can to keep the city's budget as tight as possible. Because after the gubernatorial campaign is over, we have the long-term future of New York City to consider.