Queens business group launches economic mag

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The Queens County Overall Economic Development Corporation this week launched a quarterly publication detailing trends in the borough's economy.

"Queens Global Business Outlook" debuted Monday with its inaugural eight-page Winter 2000 issue. The publication includes an analysis of employment, population, industry and income trends with a focus on Queens.

The statistics and borough-specific economic trends include:

* average asking rent for office space jumped 18.4 percent during the first half of 1999

* new building permits rose 7.3 percent during the first 10 months of 1999

* 65 percent of Queens households earn less than $30,000 per year

* construction trades added more jobs than any other industry in the borough from 1993 to 1998

The report found that real average wage growth in Queens closely tracked the average for New York City. While the borough's economy is closely tied to that of Manhattan, its diversified economic base also gives it stability.

Overall, the Queens economy is enjoying a period of growth similar to that of New York City as a whole and tied to the booming Manhattan economy.

"Since a large portion of the Queens workforce commutes to Manhattan, the engines of the Manhattan economy - Wall Street, media, and corporate and professional services - have much to do with determining income levels and consumer spending in Queens," the report said.

But in some ways, the Manhattan economy has put pressure on Queens by making it less affordable for businesses and individuals. So while Manhattan's surge in construction has boosted Queens-based construction companies, rising Manhattan rents have escalated commercial rents in some parts of Queens, particularly Long Island City, the report said.

Job growth, however, has benefited Queens' large labor force, the largest of any borough in the city. In 1999, Queens had a labor force of about 984,000, compared to 957,000 from Brooklyn and 821,000 from Manhattan, the study said.

Driving much of that labor force growth has been immigration. The report's two-page survey of recent trends in the borough's immigration patterns ties together housing availability with the influx of immigrants.

"Six of a total of 14 [community board] districts have a two-thirds share of renter foreign-born households, and four have a 50 percent or more foreign-born household share among owners," the report found.

The Queens County Overall Economic Development Corporation is a 20-year-old non-profit organization funded by city, state and private grants. It is located at Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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