Over the past five years, the number of New Yorkers who work in low-wage jobs has steadily increased, with more than a third of adults in the city—and nearly half in the Bronx—now stuck in low-paying occupations.
There are many reasons to celebrate New York City’s recent economic progress. During the Great Recession, the city shed fewer jobs, per capita, than the nation as a whole. The recovery has also been stronger in the five boroughs than in the rest of the state and in many of the nation’s other large cities. And the recent rise of the city’s tech sector has added much-needed balance to New York’s economy.
On the downside, however, a significant share of the city’s employment growth is occurring in low-paying occupations. As this analysis shows, the number of working New Yorkers who are stuck in low-wage jobs has risen steadily over the past five years. In 2012, 35.0 percent of New Yorkers over the age of 18 worked in a low-wage job, up from 31.1 percent in 2007. Even more alarming, nearly half of all adult workers in the Bronx and 40 percent in Brooklyn now work in low-wage jobs. While the numbers are slightly lower for the other three boroughs, at least a quarter of adult workers in every borough work in low-wage jobs.
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