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Brooklyn leads the city in job growth: Report

If any part of the city is generating big bucks, it's Brooklyn.

A report released Tuesday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found the borough's private sector employment spiked 19.8 percent between 2003 and 2012, the highest level on record and nearly double the amount of growth in the rest of the city, which was 10.6 percent.

By the third quarter of 2013, close to a half-million private sector jobs had been created in Brooklyn, also a record.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Brooklyn's economic growth will continue because businesses and residents continue to flock there, and because the city will work to make sure they flourish.

"It's a remarkable transformation that's changing neighborhoods and the economy. It's our job to make sure this is a rising tide that raises all boats," he said in a statement.

Brooklyn had close to 50,000 businesses in 2011, the most recent year the state comptroller's office had for the data, and has seen 8,600 new businesses since 2003.

The report cited the increase of young professionals with bachelor's degrees moving into the borough and the growth of several neighborhood business sectors as major factors for the job growth.

Tech companies like Etsy, which recently announced it will be expanding into Brooklyn with 340 new jobs, helped transform the downtown area, Dumbo and the Navy Yard into the most sought-after neighborhoods for entrepreneurs, according to Aleksandra Scepanovic, managing director of the Brooklyn-based real estate company Ideal Properties Group.

"That Silicon Alley transformation really did make a huge impact on the economy over the years," she said.

Brooklyn's largest job sector was the health care and social assistance industries, which contributed 33.1 percent of Brooklyn's employment with nearly 20,000 jobs since 2008. The growth is from an increase in clinics, doctors' offices and other health businesses.

Jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry, such as restaurants and bars, grew the fastest between 2008 and 2012 with 10,000 additional jobs as new hot spots in Williamsburg and Bushwick popped up, the report said.

DiNapoli acknowledged that the borough faces barriers for more growth, such as an 8.8 percent unemployment rate and high costs of living. But he noted plans to keep the momentum going.

Two weeks ago, the City Council approved the $1.5 billion redevelopment plan for the former Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg that will create 2,000 permanent jobs and new office space.

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