In 2012, the unemployment rate in the Bronx averaged 12.7% (compared to a citywide rate of 9.2%). Historically, the unemployment rate in the Bronx has been among the highest of New York State’s 62 counties. Among the five boroughs, the Bronx had the largest share of residents in the labor force who did not have a high school diploma (nearly one-third), and the lowest share of those with a college or advanced degree (17%).
The sequester – the cuts in Federal government spending that began on March 1, 2013 – also threatens programs important to low-income Americans. For many low-income families, the distance between their earnings and the poverty threshold widened. While The Bronx added jobs during the recession, median income plunged by 13.5 percent from a peak in 2007 to $32,058 in 2011 — nearly double the citywide decline rate.
The percentage of Bronx residents who received public assistance or food stamps was twice the citywide rate in 2011, and the highest of any county in New York. Nearly half (46%) of all Bronx residents were enrolled in Medicaid.