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The Economy

Outer Borough BIDs Struggle With Low Budgets, Little Impact

While well-funded business improvement districts are major players in thriving commercial districts, many outer borough BIDs have too few resources to make a difference.

Why Big Newspapers Skip the Bronx

Income levels appear to drive the decision, as surveys indicate the poor consume less news.

Push to Diversify City Contracting Falls Short of Goals

Eight years after the Bloomberg administration began an effort to get minority- and women-owned firms a bigger share of city contracts, targets have not been met. Part 1 of a three-part series.

Minority Contractors Face Hurdles, Flaws in Law

In the city's effort to diversify city contracting, the administration is limited by procurement rules, MWBE firms by their small size and the law itself by the fuzzy process behind the goals it's set. Part II in our series.

NYC's MWBE Push: Cracking Down, Looking Ahead

As local law enforcement follows the feds' lead in going after city contractors that fake working with minority- and women-owned firms, the future of the MWBE program is in a new mayor's hands. Part III of our series.

MWBE Programs Face Court Scrutiny

Cities and states that want to diversify their contractor pool have to prove that genuine disparities exist. Part of our series on New York's M/WBE initiative.

Cabrera Rallies Against Armory Plan

The councilman is trying to build pressure against the plan to turn the long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory into an ice sports center.

Bronx Councilman Urges Council to Kill Armory Plan

Fernando Cabrera says he still hopes to support the plan to build an ice sports center in the historic Kingsbridge Armory, but has concerns about traffic and funding.

Young Men's Initiative Shows Promise—and Limits

Mayor Bloomberg gets credit for making young black men a government priority. But there are questions about YMI's scope, scale and future funding.

Wine Country ... in Bed-Stuy?

The Toast of Brooklyn celebrated the history and potential of the neighborhood, where some hope a $20 million revitalization project will spur an economic revival.

The 2013 Mayoral Candidates on Jobs and the Economy

From neighborhood-specific plans to general principles, everyone running has laid out their vision for creating jobs.

What the Campaign's Focus on Inequality Means for New York

How did income inequality become a driving issue in the 2013 race? What do the candidates actually propose to do about it? Would any of their ideas really work?

Many Store Owners Hit By Fire Refuse City Help

Small business assistance has been offered to the 11 Wakefield businesses destroyed by a May fire. But since the aid comes in the form of loans rather than grants, many firms have declined the help.

As Land of Opportunity, New York Is No Denmark

Income mobility in New York compares well to other American cities—but not to our European counterparts.

Congress's War on Food Stamps Could Worsen NYC Inequality

The House votes to strip Food Stamps from a Farm Bill. The Senate looks to tighten eligibility. What will it mean for a city with 1.9 million people receiving that benefit?

Brooklyn Wage Theft Case Grinds On

Authorities found that a Williamsburg construction company owed its workers $500,000, but no one's been paid yet. Advocates blame enforcement delays on overburdened state inspectors.

Brooklyn Pantries Brace for Food-Aid Cuts

Federal budget cutters have targeted the food stamp program, which puts dinner on 1.9 million plates in New York City each day.

Brooklyn Youth Mobilize To Expand Jobs Program

The Summer Youth Employment Program escaped new cuts in this year's city budget. But past trimming means thousands of willing teen workers will be left on the sidelines.

FreshDirect Job Vows: At Odds with Environmental Claims?

The grocery deliverer says it will create thousands of jobs in the South Bronx, but that expansion disappears when the firm analyzes its environmental impact.

New Concerns About Tax Ripoffs for Low-Income Filers

In Bushwick and elsewhere, despite crackdowns and campaigns to increase public awareness, critics say some tax preparers charge high fees that cut into vital tax refunds.

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City Limits provides in-depth stories on the economy, workforce development, industries and small business, philanthropy, and a special focus on growing poverty and inequality. Updates include events, jobs, and opportunities.

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Is NYC's '1 Percent' Overtaxed? - Jarrett Murphy

They pay 46 percent of personal income taxes. That means they're important to funding city services. Does it also mean they're overburdened?

Become a City Limits Member - Jarrett Murphy

It's the time of year when people support the causes that matters to them. Does good journalism matter to you?

Seen Here First: State Cracks Down on Payday Lenders - Jarrett Murphy

The state's financial regulator subpoenaed more than a dozen firms linked to the provision of high-cost loans that the Empire State has banned.

Call for A Wage-Theft Crackdown - Jarrett Murphy

Advocates for low-wage workers say the state isn't doing enough to hunt down scofflaw employers.

De Blasio, Thompson Economic Plans: Poverty vs. Inequality - Jarrett Murphy

The two Democrats unveiled their economic strategy on consecutive days. While their proposals overlapped a lot, de Blasio emphasized the growing gap between the rich and poor.

Rockaway Businesses Still Treading Water Post-Sandy - Jarrett Murphy

Some 60 percent were still closed four or five months after the storm, thanks to long-standing challenges of economics and geography that hampered an already difficult recovery.

Report Faults How City Spends Ad Dollars - Jarrett Murphy

From recruiting new cops to discouraging soda consumption, the city spends millions on advertising—and chooses whether to support mainstream media or the ethnic and community press with that money.

Report May Clear Up New York City's Jobs Mystery - Jarrett Murphy

For months, federal statistics have shown far more new jobs in the city that there were newly employed residents. The Independent Budget Office finds that the "good news" version is closer to the truth.

City Limits Magazines’ Archive Now All Digital, Accessible - City Limits

With a grant from the New York Community Trust, our 36-year archive is now digital (and fully accessible for free) online.

Rising Poverty Means More Use of the Safety Net - Jarrett Murphy

Census data says the city's poverty rate rose again last year. From the city's welfare offices to its homeless shelters, the rising need is reflected in more New Yorkers getting help.

Poverty Numbers Steady, Income Dips - Jarrett Murphy

The Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate has held steady and the number of Americans without health insurance dropped. But median income also fell and income inequality rose.

The Platforms on Cities, Poverty - Jarrett Murphy

The Republicans call welfare reform "the most successful anti-poverty policy in memory" and the Democrats claim the stimulus saved 7 million people from poverty. What else do the platforms have to say about cities and poverty?

Recovery Equals Long Unemployment, Especially for Women - Jarrett Murphy

Amid New York's post-recession jobs "miracle" are stunning levels of long-term unemployment. Women have been hit hard, and government layoffs might be to blame, says a new report.

Living Wage as Soviet Plot: Da or Nyet? - Jarrett Murphy

We asked Soviet experts what they thought of the comparisons Mayor Bloomberg has been making between communist wage policy and a local living wage proposal.

Food Stamp Shortfall Linked to Homelessness - Jarrett Murphy

More people in New York are getting food stamps, but because the benefits don't cover a realistic family grocery bill, recipients are still choosing between dinner and rent, a report finds.

What’s Not to Like About the Cuomo Budget? - Jarrett Murphy

Amid a sea of praise for Gov. Cuomo's second budget, advocates for low-income New Yorkers raised complaints. That, plus the latest on NYCHA, city job creation and the sick leave bill —all in our policy roundup.

NYC Area Gets a D for Economic Security - Jarrett Murphy

According to a new report on economic security, the New York region's high housing costs and serious mortgage delinquency rate place it 74th among America's 100 biggest metropolitan areas.

Poverty Rose Slower than Thought—Is that Good News? - Neil deMause

Much-anticipated alternative statistics on poverty are out. The good news: The rate is rising more slowly than earlier numbers suggested. The bad news: It's been higher than we thought for a long time.

March to Bring Communities of Color to Occupy Wall Street - Jarrett Murphy

Critics of Occupy Wall Street fault its lack of racial diversity on one hand, and the diversity of its political messages on the other. A march planned for Monday will challenge the first critique. A visit to Zuccotti questions the second.

More Poor People=More Crime? Not Necessarily, Says Report - Jarrett Murphy

A study of the effect of housing vouchers on public safety finds no evidence that the arrival of subsidy recipients leads to increases in crime. Rather, voucher holders tend to move to areas where crime is already high.



Tribeca Film Festival

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
:p - 11:00p

Teachers’ Forum – Economics with Ethics

Friday, April 25, 2014
06:00p - 08:00p



Budget Must Address Low Wages of Social Service Workers

By Jeff Foreman

Budget Must Address Low Wages of Social Service Workers

For six years, the lowest paid human-service workers in New York State have not had a cost of living adjustment, meaning their real wages have shrunk by nearly 12 percent. Is this the year Albany finally wakes up to that injustice?

New York's Food Industry Hungry for Mayor's Support

By Leah Archibald

New York's Food Industry Hungry for Mayor's Support

In a city where manufacturing was declared all but dead a few years ago, food-making is a growing bright spot. But the next mayor's approach will determine if the sector reaches its potential.

A Scientific Approach to Ending Poverty, Circa 1880

By Ralph da Costa Nunez and Ethan Sribnick

A Scientific Approach to Ending Poverty, Circa 1880

This excerpt from a new book on the history of poverty in New York looks at the period when reformers sough to end public cash relief and replace it with a more effective—and private-sector—system.

What Does the City's Recovery Need? More Libraries

By David Giles

What Does the City's Recovery Need? More Libraries

Libraries perform a critical role in workforce development for low-income New Yorkers. But budget cuts have so curtailed service that Detroit's libraries are now open more than New York's.

When Can Employers Check Your Credit?

By Roman Shteyn

When Can Employers Check Your Credit?

Congress may make it harder for employers to check the credit scores of potential hires. Until they do, job-seekers need to know their rights.



A Brief History of Latino Politics in New York

From the 1930s to the present, a look at the candidates who have tried--and in some cases succeed--to increase Latino representation in the City Council, the state legislature, Congress, borough hall and beyond.

Source of Crime Guns Recovered in New York State

Source of Crime Guns Recovered in New York State. Research assistance for this project was provided by Arielle Concilio.