Mayor de Blasio’s jobs plan has cost the city $300 million so far — and created just 3,000 jobs.
The figures emerged during a contentious City Council hearing on the program, New York Works, that saw Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett being grilled on whether the city was actually tallying real jobs, or simply projecting jobs it believed would be created.
Patchett said the program had “laid the groundwork to create nearly 19,000 good-paying jobs,” a metric the city defines as a job that pays — or will soon pay — $50,000 a year.
But the amount actually created in the year since the plan launched is much fewer.
“I would say of the 19,000, we believe we’re at — we’re at about 3,000 of those actual jobs, people working, today. But I want to be clear, clear, we’re doing annual updates, we’re doing annual updates, we did our best to prepare for this hearing because we were holding it today,” Patchett said.
Patchett only offered up the figure after being pressed repeatedly by Councilman Ritchie Torres — who had noted the 19,000 figure the city was sharing was simply a projected jobs figure, not an amount of actual jobs created.
“The general public took it to mean that the mayor would in fact create 100,000 real jobs for real people in the real world. Anyone who heard the mayor’s State of the City would come away believing that those 100,000 jobs were actual jobs or would be actual jobs in 10 years, but anyone who believes that is operating under a false impression,” Torres said, who also sparred with Patchett over what exactly counts as a “job.”
The plan measures jobs created by city actions — like selling, leasing or developing city-owned property, providing financing and tax incentives to help businesses acquire property or renovate facilities, making capital investments in infrastructure that directly help a company, making zoning changes, and directly financing some industries.
Patchett noted some of that takes time — pointing to the re-zoning of Midtown East as one expected job creator, but one that will take several years because it involves new buildings being constructed.
He also said the city would have a fuller picture of new jobs created by the end of the fiscal year, noting many of the companies involved in the program were small.
“We can’t just expect them out of nowhere to answer our questions,” Patchett said.
He was grilled about the slow jobs creation numbers by the same City Council that had previously grilled him over a deal to bring Amazon to New York City — and Patchett noted that Amazon was projected to yield more than 23,000 jobs that would’ve been counted under New York Works plan.
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