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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, J 8 UNE 18-24, 2021 BTR
NYS Comptroller releases report on
the economic state of the Bronx
BY JASON COHEN
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the
Bronx harder than any other borough
by several measures, according to an
economic analysis released earlier
this week by New York State Comptroller
On June 8, DiNapoli was joined by
elected officials as he held a press conference
at the Gun Hill Brewing Company
where he discussed the report on
the economic state of the Bronx.
DiNapoli explained that prior to
the pandemic; the Bronx was on an upward
trajectory, with steady economic
and population growth after years of
economic decline. The coronavirus,
however, has stalled progress in the
borough that is home to one-fifth of
New Yorkers and has threatened to reverse
the gains it has made in recent
“More than a year of sustained
damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
has taken a toll on the Bronx,
throwing it off its pre-pandemic
course,” DiNapoli said. “The borough
has proven its resilience before, with
its recent long period of renewal aided
by government efforts to provide basic
services and boost economic activity
and quality of life in the borough. The
road to recovery will take time, and it
is crucial that the state and city ensure
that the Bronx receives its fair share
of assistance to address the serious
damage it has sustained.”
Over the past 20 years, the Bronx
grew faster than any other borough,
driven in large part by immigration.
From 2000 through 2017, the Bronx’s
population increased by 10.4 percent
to 1.47 million residents.
The borough experienced steady
employment and new business growth
from 2009 through 2019. Employment
grew by 20 percent and reached 249,000
jobs in 2019. Although it trailed the
citywide growth rate of 29.9 percent,
it was the only borough to show no decline
in employment during the Great
But COVID-19 changed everything.
The sudden and dramatic closure
of businesses across New York City hit
the leisure and hospitality sector the
hardest. In the Bronx, it meant the loss
of 9,600 jobs — a 45.6 percent drop — in
that sector by the summer of 2020.
The borough also had the highest
unemployment rate throughout the
pandemic. Unemployment averaged
5.4 percent in the first three months of
2020, then shot up to a peak of 24.6 percent
in May 2020, before gradually declining
to 15 percent in April.
Lastly, pre-existing conditions,
such as poverty, unemployment,
NYS Comptroller DiNapoli releases report on the
economic state of the Bronx Photos by Jason Cohen
crowded housing, underlying health
conditions and access to health care
services put individuals and communities,
at higher risk of contracting
Through it all the borough survived
and people will persevere, Di-
“I think history shows us you do not
bet against the Bronx,” he exclaimed.
“This borough has made great strides
in improving its quality of life. Despite
these challenges, I believe there
is hope. The Bronx will weather the
DiNapoli urged city and state leaders
to prioritize a recovery in the
Bronx by addressing its needs including:
Continued aggressive boroughwide
Sustained outreach for resources
such as food distribution and rent relief.
Targeted programs aimed at helping
those most affected by COVID-19.
Close tracking of relief dollars to
ensure that the Bronx receives its fair
share that corresponds to the serious
damage it has sustained.
Continued investment to aid recovery.
Among the officials at the press
conference were Borough President
Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressman Jamaal
Bowman and Councilman Kevin Riley.
Diaz stressed how the Bronx has
come a long way from the fires in
the 70s and 80s. Today, it has broken
ground on the hip-hop museum, has
plans to renovate Orchard Beach, continues
to construct affordable housing
and is a borough filled with hard working