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Communities / Data / Economics

Census numbers show Brooklyn is booming

“It is readily apparent to any New Yorker that the 21st century will belong to Brooklyn,” says Quartz.

Inside Hagerstown Community College's Technical Innovation Center. (Courtesy photo)

Here at, we’re already sold on Brooklyn as one of the best places to be. Even outside the industry, of course, the borough has gained plenty of business cachet.

Recently, Quartz laid out the numbers — taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages — in a series of charts. The data show that over the period from 2001 to 2015, Brooklyn led the city in wage growth and job creation. (In fact, in the category of job creation, every one of the so-called outer boroughs bested Manhattan.)

“It is readily apparent to any New Yorker that the 21st century will belong to Brooklyn,” wrote the story’s author, Quartz reporter Dan Kopf.

Read the full story

Kopf noted that several of the fastest-growing sectors in Brooklyn live up to the borough’s hipster reputation: namely, art and food:

(Chart via Quartz)

(Chart via Quartz)

Our bread and butter here, of course, is tech, so we decided to take a look at the numbers relating specific to that industry to see how they match up.

Tech falls under an array of NAICS codes — the industry categorization system the BLS uses — so to sample, we pulled from a few relevant categories: computer systems design and related services; software publishers; internet publishing and web search portals; data processing, hosting and related services; engineering services and electronic shopping.

We quickly found that 2001 numbers weren’t very illustrative for our purposes: that year, for instance, there was a grand total of zero internet publishers in Brooklyn. (Given that that year coincides with the dot-com bust, that result makes sense.) So instead, we looked at a narrower time frame, from 2012 to 2015, the last year for which the BLS has complete data. The overall numbers, as you might imagine, indeed tell a similar story to Quartz’s.

A few notes: first of all, these numbers don’t capture the entire tech industry in Brooklyn; some tech companies may fall under other categories or may not be captured in BLS data. For legibility’s sake, we excluded the outlying figure for software publishing, whose wages jumped an astounding 2805.2 percent from 2012 to 2015. (That’s largely because there were only nine such companies in 2012, as opposed to 35 in 2015.) And interestingly enough, one industry, data processing, actually experienced a decline in employees and wages.

Here is the resulting chart, for your perusal.

(Chart via Quartz)

(Chart via Quartz)

Series: Brooklyn

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