Streams

Queens Wages

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Terrence Martell, director of the Weissman Center for International Business at Baruch College, and Andrew Beveridge, chair at the sociology department at Queens College and the man behind the Gotham Gazzette's demographics column, discuss a new study that shows that wages in Queens rose at one of the highest rates in the country.

Guests:

Andrew Beveridge and Terrence Martell

Comments [8]

Andrew A Beveridge from Queens College

These data are collected by employers (including owners) by place they work. They reflect the the place of employment, not place of residence. The Census has place of residence, but they also ask where people work and ask about each household. The BLS data are based on total wages by category, so the only number one has is Mean and a Total; while the Census has detailed data for each Household albeit self-report.

Andy Beveridge, Queens College

Apr. 03 2008 02:37 PM
James from New York

Well, the wages earned 'in-the-borough' will also tend to rise as higher-income people (who may earn their wages outside the borough or even have more unearned capital income) move in for the reason that the spend much of the income they bring with them in the borough they move into, thereby bidding up prices generally, including real estate & local wages. This influx of 'outside' income increases business & income opportunities for the place it moves into.

Apr. 03 2008 12:31 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

I didn't think of it that way James. Though the guests said they believe the study reflected wages earned in the borough and not average wages of inhabitants of the borough, they didn't seem sure. The growth, as you eluded, could also be a function of low wage residents being displaced, and services catering specifically to new residents being created.

Apr. 03 2008 12:24 PM
James from New York

Well, the new businesses hire some local labor thus raising the average wage. But, the higher incomes also bid up real estate values & other prices, so lower income folks also suffer some downside. Overall though, on balance, even lower income folks are net beneficaries over time. Increasing prosperity is better than the alternative.

Apr. 03 2008 12:08 PM
Amy from Manhattan

But, James, are the new residents spending their higher incomes with the lower-income residents already there? What I've seen instead is that businesses (whose owners may not live in the neighborhood) catering to people w/more money start to open & push out the affordable places, making life more expensive for the previous inhabitants.

Apr. 03 2008 11:58 AM
James from New York

Wages are also rising in Inwood, Washington Heights, Harlem for similiar reasons. As higher-income people move into an area they lift the over-all wealth & wages of the area. They have more money to spend and the inhabitants of the areas that they move into benefit by the increased income & spending that they bring with them, directly & indirectly. A variety of 'trickle-down'.

Apr. 03 2008 11:47 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I agree James, I was going to ask if the guest could be asked what affect all of the "luxury" condo and rental developments with prices approaching those of Manhattan in Queens (especially Long Island City) have on this growth. It seems like an obvious reason for the up tick.

Apr. 03 2008 11:42 AM
James from New York

The major reason for the increase in wages in Queens is probably due to higher-income workers moving into Queens who are forced out of the much more expensive cost-of-living of Manhattan. Yes, even reltively high-income people can be pushed out of a hyper-income palce like Manhattan. I'll bet incomes are risiing in Hoboken, Jersey City, Brooklyn etc for the same reason. It's a part of the overall NYC boom economy.

Apr. 03 2008 11:36 AM

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