Jobless Rate Higher in City Public Housing

Email a Friend

The unemployment rate in New York City has been above 10 percent for months, but it's thought to be even worse within the city's 343 public housing developments. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez reports.

REPORTER: Recently, the Community Service Society, an advocacy group, gave testimony at a city council hearing that put the public housing unemployment rate at 17 percent and the group said that number was obtained using census figures from 2005, when the economy was booming. City councilwoman Letitia James says at the Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, more than half the residents are unemployed. She helped organize a job fair there and says recent problems with gun violence need to be addressed with economic development and not solely more policing:

JAMES:The residents of public housing need services, they need jobs, they need to be connected to all the development that is literally happening in their backyard and they have not been.

REPORTER: The job fair is Thursday and James says about 160 people have signed up so far. She's hoping to recruit more residents. About 20 downtown Brooklyn businesses will be there including pathmark, target, trader joes and applebees.

FOr WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.