The economy of the tri-state region has grown dramatically over the past two decades, and today is currently one of the world’s largest. Yet even in this thriving economy, income inequality and a lack of upward mobility persist. Wages have stagnated, even as living costs have risen. And although there is strong job growth in New York City, the number of jobs outside the core of the region has hardly increased over the last 15 years.
Fostering a diverse economy with good jobs for people with a variety of skills requires investing in places that can support a broad range of industries and opportunities, from downtowns with large concentrations of office and service jobs to neighborhoods where residents can build careers in health, education, trades and the arts. Concentrating these jobs in the most transit-accessible places lets employers access a larger workforce and allows residents to reach a greater number of employment opportunities.
While it is crucial to maintain a strong Central Business District in Manhattan, we must also expand a network of mixed-use districts outside of Manhattan that can support a wider range of jobs and strengthen the economies of poorer cities. Cities and states should retain space for essential industrial activities while supporting new businesses pursuing innovative production methods. Cities should develop partnerships with local anchor institutions, such as schools and hospitals, that generate jobs and skills for community residents.