The 2013 Mayoral Candidates on Jobs and the Economy

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Republican frontrunner and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota has said he believes the best thing government can do for the economy is to get out of the private sector's way.

Photo by: Adi Talwar

Republican frontrunner and former MTA chairman Joe Lhota has said he believes the best thing government can do for the economy is to get out of the private sector's way.

New York City had a shorter and shallower recession that the rest of the U.S. during the 2007-2008 downturn. But while job creation has been strong, the city’s unemployment rate is still above the statewide and national averages; the Bronx has the highest unemployment rate (11.9 percent in July) of any county in the state.

And for all the success the Bloomberg administration had in creating jobs, those positions tended to be at the top or the bottom of the pay scale. There was little growth in the middle-income jobs families need to be able to afford to stay in the city.

The mayor only controls so much when it comes to the city’s economy; the decision of the Federal Reserve, the vagaries of global trade, even the weather can affect how businesses based here perform. But city policy can play a key role. Here’s the role the people running for mayor envision for their administrations:

Bill Thompson (D)

  • install a Chief Jobs Officer to coordinate workforce development programs
  • lobby for increased funding for employee education
  • have the school system adopt outcomes measures that emphasize employment
  • focus job training on sound office skills like basic accounting
  • use BIDs and local nonprofits to anchor workforce development programs in different parts of the city

    Christine Quinn (D)

  • build economic development plans around unique strengths of each neighborhood
  • double city exports by 2020 by creating a regional export council to develop a plan for the metro region
  • expand manufacturing in Sunset Park, adding 2,000 jobs
  • create pool of capital for small businesses
  • tailor workforce development programs to real needs of today’s employers
  • focus on the food industry as a potential source of jobs
  • advance the cross-harbor freight tunnel
  • appoint a Chief Innovation Officer
  • expand daycare
  • appoint a commission to speed the installation of high-speed broadband and create more wifi communities throughout the city

    John Liu (D)

  • eliminate the city’s General Corporation Tax for small businesses
  • exempt small businesses from the Unincorporated Business Tax
  • reduce fines on businesses
  • scrutinize business tax breaks
  • invest in minority- and women-owned businesses
  • increase the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour
  • mandate paid sick leave for all workers
  • reform temporary disability insurance
  • create family leave insurance

    Anthony Weiner (D)

  • compete effectively against regional foes, like Jersey City and Westchester County
  • avoid special tax breaks in favor of predictable taxes and benefits for all firms
  • lower the cost of outer-borough job creation, where high taxes are not offset by the benefits of being in Manhattan
  • add wi-fi to the building code
  • use the city’s rich diversity of languages to make it a center of call-center activity

    Adolfo Carrion (I)

  • move from a FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) to a FREIT economy (finance, real estate and information technology)
  • use low-cost “smart spaces” to incubate new businesses throughout the city
  • streamline the land-use process for projects that create jobs
  • use community benefit agreements to promote beneficial economic development
  • lower taxes and reduce burdensome regulation

    Joe Lhota (R)

  • “Diversify our economy and provide an environment conducive to job creation and the elevation of the standard of living in all five boroughs.”
  • “Create a climate that will encourage and sustain job growth, including reducing burdensome regulations and taxes that stifle private sector growth.”

    Bill de Blasio (D)

  • reform or eliminate corporate tax breaks to save the city $250 million and devote it to CUNY
  • form cohesive system from currently disjointed job training and placement programs, especially for less-skilled workers
  • expand CTE high schools
  • use better zoning enforcement and infrastructure investment to promote manufacturing
  • strengthen “neglected” sectors by building economic development hubs in each neighborhood and launching loan and investment funds to provide capital to local start-ups
  • reduce fines on small businesses and increase their chances of landing city contracts
  • expand sick day coverage, push for higher wages through city contracts and provide better work-rights enforcement

    Sal Albanese (D)

  • create 26,000 living wage jobs through affordable housing creation
  • create jobs by reforming the transit system and advocating for more transit funding

    John Catsimatidis (R)

  • appoint a small business advocate, reporting directly to the mayor
  • ensure that business fines are levied to punish infractions, not to meet quotas
  • cut red tape and provide simple streamlined instructions for someone looking to start a business
  • provide more business financing
  • target tax breaks to support job creation and retention

    Erick Salgado (D)

  • reduce bureaucracy and give tax incentives to small businesses
  • target clean manufacturing and the tech industry for tax incentives

    George MacDonald (R)

  • use city’s huge purchasing power to support local firms
  • use public-private partnerships, like the Doe Fund, to foster job creation
  • reform taxes and fees to encourage rather than discourage job creation
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