Bianca Peters: Welcome back. Mayor Eric Adams, he says the city is back. We got some new data from the Department of Labor which shows the city actually has recovered the nearly one million private sector jobs that were lost during the Covid‑19 pandemic.
Rosanna Scotto: New York City has set a new record in total jobs, and this marks a new phase in the city’s economic recovery. Joining us this morning from City Hall, Mayor Eric Adams and Maria Torres‑Springer, New York City Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development and Workforce. Nice to have you both on Good Day New York.
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you.
Scotto: Mayor, we got some good news. Tell us about this breaking news. How did this happen?
Mayor Adams: With the person sitting next to me and her team and all of us coming together, just a real rockstar in housing, economic development. We are just really blessed to have Deputy Mayor Maria Torres‑Springer. Remember what I inherited, ladies? I inherited crime trended in the wrong direction. No one wanted to be on our subway system. Everyone stated it was going to take years longer to get our jobs recovered.
We have recovered and we have more jobs in the city’s history — the history of this city — and it’s because we really invested in working people, public spaces and public safety, which I said is the prerequisite to prosperity in this city.
Scotto: Deputy Mayor, I know safety is very important. The numbers are going down with crime, which is great news for all of us who live here. What else? What sectors do you see flourishing right now?
Deputy Mayor Maria Torres‑Springer: Thank you for that question. So, as the mayor mentioned, since he took office we’ve added 280,000 jobs to our economy. That’s more than Jersey City or Buffalo have people. So, at 4.7 million, it’s an all‑time high, and it’s being propelled by key sectors, propelled by education, by healthcare, by tech, by finance. Construction is back. So, all of the major sectors of our economy have moored back, and we’ll continue this work, because as the mayor mentioned, we have to use every tool that we have in our toolkit from driving down crime, cleaning up our streets, activating our central business districts, bringing visitors back; and of course, connecting New Yorkers to jobs.
Peters: Ms. Torres‑Springer, you guys are doing exactly just that with providing tools to connect New Yorkers with jobs. Tell us a little bit about jobready.nyc.gov.
Torres‑Springer: That’s right. Well, we encourage everyone to visit that website or to call 311, because our main mission here — and we’re all partners in the same mission — is to make sure that every New Yorker has the opportunity to thrive in this city. We’ve launched major new programs, new apprenticeship programs, a number of programs for our young people connecting them to these key industries and ensuring that they can really get on a path to a family sustaining career.
Peters: Mayor Adams, I do have to ask, though, about the migrant crisis especially we’re talking about jobs, because we just have 2,000…about 2,000 migrants in NYC that applied to work with none approved to earn a paycheck. Those are the people that desperately need work and a paycheck. So, what’s the update with that?
Mayor Adams: And that is so important, the question you ask, because this is what we’re talking about. We opened not only an intake center but a center to assist migrants in filling out their documentation. And the process is taking too long. The federal government must step up and ensure that we can get to system flowing in a more expeditious fashion; and then, we need help to assist in filling out those documentations.
But let’s be clear: we’re still getting 16,000 migrants a month; in the way we’re trending, 4,000 a week. So, the more we move out, the more that’s coming in. It’s unsustainable. We’re going to do our part, but this is not right for New York City taxpayers and it’s not right for the migrants and asylum seekers.
Scotto: You know, it’s ironic, because the feds were like so critical of the way the city was handling this situation, here we have people actually applying for jobs and then it’s crickets.
Mayor Adams: No, without a doubt. And we knew what that was about. It was trying to push aside what the real issues were, and we knew we were doing our job. People come here and visit what New York City taxpayers are doing are amazed at how we were able to handle over 127,000 people coming in into our city and our system. But New York City taxpayers should not be carried the burden of a national problem. We’re going to do what we have to do. It’s going to be extremely painful. It’s going to hurt. And I think it’s just unfair to all the progress we’re making.
But let’s be clear on this: even with these issues — Covid, migrant and other issues — the city is not just surviving, we’re thriving, and we’re coming back stronger and better than ever.
Scotto: That is great news. Can we talk about the city right now is in mediation with the ACLU over the Right to Shelter. You brought that up, 60 days now you would like to keep migrants reapplying every 60 days hopefully to get some of them out and on their own two feet. How is the mediation going, and do you have hope that it will be the right decision?
Mayor Adams: Think about this for a moment. There are two schools of thought in our city right now. One school of thought is that people could come anywhere on the planet to New York City and stay for as long as they want on taxpayers’ dime. And then there’s another school of thought, is, listen, there’s a limited amount of resources. Our hearts are huge but our resources are minimum — $5 billion dollars this financial season, this year.
We must say if you’re here in the city this is the amount of time that taxpayers are going to pick up the cost of you being here, not for the rest of your lives, not for as long as you want. And that’s what our school of thought is, and we did it with single adults and we’re seeing that a substantial number of them are staying with families, finding their own way. We’re saying we can’t do this forever, this is unfair to taxpayers.
Peters: Mayor, let me ask you a question, because you said that, but you are not in lockstep with the state, because the state said on Tuesday — a day after you announced this — that they have not allowed that in shelters that they oversee, and that is where a majority of the migrant families are presently staying.
Mayor Adams: Just listen, we believe we’re going to be in alignment. We’re in court now and there’s a new judge on the case. We believe we’re going to get in alignment. I think people are going to just [reasonably] see that taxpayers of New York City should not be picking up the burden of a national problem. And I think all of us are going to align to the north star that this is not a New York City residents’ issue when we should be taking care of the entire globe for the rest of their lives. And they’re not even allowing them to work. That’s what the real problem is.
Scotto: Deputy Mayor, I’m just wondering, is there a website where people can go to to find out what opportunities there are for work? And does that include the migrants who are here?
Torres‑Springer: The website is jobsready.nyc.gov, and we are working very closely with our partners in government for those who already have work authorization so that they are able to connect to the jobs here in New York. And so that is through our Workforce 1 System. These are 18 centers across the city, and everyone there wakes up every day connecting New Yorkers to training and to jobs.
And as the mayor mentioned, we’re ready. We are ready with the partnership, hopefully, of the federal and state government once there’s work authorization to make sure that these newcomers — like every newcomer in the history of the city — is able to help us contribute to the city and help build our city.
Scotto: All right.
Mayor Adams: And you know, you…ladies, you remember in the beginning of the year what I shared with you? I said this was going to be an Aaron Judge year. Well, you know what? We are knocking it out the park day by day.
Scotto: When the city wins, we all win. Hey, mayor, how do you handle this rain? Does it get you down?
Mayor Adams: No, not at all. You know, some people go out and see rain, I feel rain, and I know it’s all part of the beauty of life. You know, it’s all part of the process.
Peters: Yeah, but not nine weekends in a row. C’mon, mayor. C’mon. [Laughter.]
Talk to Mike Woods to do something about this, ’cause, you know, we need to go apple picking and all that good stuff.
Mayor Adams: But I think rain also increases our population. People stay home and they reignite their love affair.
Scotto: Oh! Interesting! [Laughter.]
Okay, Mayor Adams. And thank you so much, Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer for talking with us this morning. Appreciate it.
Mayor Adams: Thank you.
Deputy Mayor Torres‑Springer: Thank you.