Press Releases

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2018

Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471                                              

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and DCP Director Lago Release The Geography of Jobs Report

New Data-driven Analysis shows Changing Landscape of the $1.7 trillion Tri-State Economy’s Jobs and Workers in the wake of the Great Recession, with Economic Growth Concentrating at the Region’s Center and in Areas Well-connected by Transit.

July 31, 2018 – New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago today announced the release of The Geography of Jobs Report. A data-driven analysis, the report shows dramatic shifts in the metropolitan region’s economic centers, with workforce and housing shifting to urban areas since the Great Recession.

The report, which highlights the interconnected relationships of the region’s jobs, housing and workforce ecosystems, makes key findings, including:

  • While New York City represents 41% of regional private employment, in the last 10 years the city has accounted for 75% of private employment growth.
  • This is a departure from the previous two decades, in which the city’s growth accounted for less than its share of the region’s jobs, representing only one-third of the metropolitan region’s private employment gains during the 1990s and 2000s.
  • The majority of new housing has been confined to a few areas in the region, primarily in New York City and northern New Jersey, resulting in a workforce aged 25-54 being increasingly concentrated in these locations.

The Geography of Jobs study makes it clear that New York City’s long-term economic success is inextricably linked to the success of our regional partners. That’s why we must work together as a region to proactively shape and build the housing and transit infrastructure necessary to support future growth,” said Deputy Mayor Glen.

Director Lago said, “The shifting geography of hundreds of thousands of jobs within the metro region directly affects planning at the community level.  While our region remains a global economic leader, we cannot rest on our laurels.  Instead, we must work together to better understand and support a thriving, equitable and sustainable region for all.”

“The Department of City Planning’s report illustrates how significant an economic center New York City is – the entire region depends on us. As our economy continues to grow and add jobs, it is critical that we invest in our infrastructure, in terms of both building new projects and improving our existing system. This begins with the Gateway Program, which is by far the most important infrastructure project in the country – the failure of the Hudson Tunnels would be disastrous for the Northeast and the United States as a whole. Job centers have sprouted up in boroughs outside of Manhattan and New York’s employees are living farther outside the city’s limits, making an efficient and reliable transportation network all the more important. The Tri-State area must also construct additional housing and office space to accommodate the people who want to work here and the businesses who want to start, grow or move here. Simply put, DCP’s report is a terrific resource, and helps us identify what we individually and collectively should focus on to ensure this growth strengthens the region as a whole,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President and CEO of New York Building Congress.

Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City said, “Our region’s economy is interconnected, with business operations and employees who live on both sides of the Hudson River and surrounds. The Partnership has long been interested in supporting a connected regional economy and this report further shines light on the necessities of planning for those connection points.”

The Geography of Jobs is certainly a timely and important publication,” said Mitchell Moss, Director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation and Policy. “It is good to know that the NYC City Planning Department is focusing on where jobs are being created and how this affects the future of our city and region.”

Because the Tri-State region is increasingly interdependent, DCP’s Regional Planning Division, created two years ago, works on and shares research that informs wider analysis and conversations about the Tri-State region’s mutual planning challenges. Recently, the division released the Metro Region Explorer as a tool to support cross-border data sharing and collaboration. The Geography of Jobs Report is the subject of a forum being hosted today by the New York Building Congress. The participants include regional local government, planning and economic development officials from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as leading business and civic organizations from across the three states.

With 9.1 million homes and 10.4 million jobs, the metropolitan region’s economy is one of the largest in the world – as big as the Russian economy. It represents $1.7 trillion in economic activity and nearly 10% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

At the center of this economic engine is New York City, but with a significant share of our regional economic activity taking place outside of the five boroughs.

More key analytical findings from The Geography of Jobs Report: 

  • Post-recession, our metropolitan region grew at a similar scale to other major metropolitan regions in the United States, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas - despite record employment growth in New York City.
    • The City grew total employment by 2% annually from 2008 to 2017, but the metropolitan region grew by 0.8% annually, reflecting much slower economic recovery and growth in areas outside of the city.
  • New York City boroughs outside of Manhattan contributed a significant share of the region’s employment growth, serving as new ancillary job centers. From 1980 to 1990, employment gains in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island accounted for just 12% of the entire region’s private sector employment gain (+932,325). However, in the post-recession decade from 2008 to 2017, non-Manhattan boroughs accounted for 40% of the region’s private sector employment gains.
  • Employment is growing across the five boroughs and in certain other counties, such as Hudson and Middlesex.
  • Slower employment growth in many other counties is lessening the Tri-State area’s national competitiveness and hindering job opportunities in many suburban areas.
  • Private office-based employment sectors, which today account for 52% of regional wage output, have grown predominantly within New York City, while other parts of the region have seen employment growth in more locally-serving sectors, like hospitality and ambulatory healthcare services.
  • While at a regional scale certain areas are falling behind, there are bright spots. For example, Hudson County, NJ is growing office-based employment, despite broader losses in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties. Nassau County, Long Island is also growing employment, notably in the institutional sectors, given the role and growth of major medical institutions.

Worker age:

  • Since 2000, the growth of New York City’s labor force aged 25-54 has outpaced national trends, growing at triple the rate of the U.S. average.
  • Despite growth in other regional urban centers, such as Jersey City, Newark, New Rochelle and Stamford, the broader metropolitan region is losing workers age 25-54.


  • Combined, New York City and northern New Jersey accounted for 80% of all new homes and 90% of new homes in multifamily buildings that have been permitted in the metropolitan region since 2010.
  • Many of the traditional commuter towns elsewhere in the region showed minimal housing growth, as the workforce aged in place.


  • The combination of New Jersey’s strong housing growth with New York City’s robust jobs market is leading to a heavy increase in trans-Hudson commuting, a trend that may accelerate in the coming years.
  • The geographic imbalance in the region has implications for commuting patterns, transit infrastructure, and our overall metropolitan performance. As certain parts of the region add significant amounts of housing but little employment, as is the case with New Jersey, or grow slowly by comparison to the city (as is the case in Long Island), the region is experiencing new pressures and stresses on its transit infrastructure.
  • These trends raise important questions about how and where the region can accommodate continued growth and how we direct investments to support changing growth trends.