Labor Stats

Brooklyn’s design sector is booming

Architecture Design East
(Kris Arnold / Flickr)
(Kris Arnold / Flickr)

In a report by the Center for an Urban Future, figures show that Brooklyn has seen a significant spike in the design sector with architecture and design employment figures growing by some 86 percent during the period from 2010-2014.

The report was published to coincide with NYCxDesign, New York City’s design festival that closes today. Its statistics pertain to most realms within the creative industry, including “architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design and other specialized design (including fashion, costume, and jewelry design).” Data and analysis was taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

(m01229 / Flickr)

(Courtesy m01229/Flickr)

Back to Brooklyn: growth in the sector significantly outdoes Manhattan (at 19 percent) and the rest of the city where growth averaged out at 23 percent. Despite Manhattan lagging behind, however, that borough remains New York’s stalwart home for creatives, accommodating 89 percent of all jobs related at architecture and design companies within the city.

During the four year period, the city saw more than 5,000 jobs added in the sector, making New York City home to 27,037 design jobs, though Brooklyn can still only boast 1,954 compared to Manhattan’s 24,045 majority share.


The figures though show the early roots of Brooklyn as an emerging alternative base for creative companies. Landscape architecture jobs witnessed the sharpest increase of 376 percent jumping from 21 to 100. Meanwhile, other growing industries saw jobs in “industrial design” and architecture rise by 90 percent (from 67 to 127 and 387 to 737 respectively) and graphic design jobs by 94 percent from 285 to 552.

(Daran Kandasamy / Flickr)

(Daran Kandasamy / Flickr)

As for the other boroughs, the Bronx was the only one subject to negative growth, losing 11 jobs (down 17 percent) whereas Queens saw 42 percent growth (260 jobs) and Staten Island just over over 4 percent (4 jobs).

Over the scope of ten years from 2004-2014, Brooklyn has more than doubled in job accumulation in every industry of the design sector, outperforming its counterparts by a considerable margin. In Manhattan for example, there was even a 10 percent decline in the graphic design industry.

During this period Staten Island in fact suffered a net loss of 43 jobs across the board equating to a 30 percent decrease. Moreover, Queens and the Bronx achieved only marginal growth in the same time span.

“Our new data brief highlights the growing importance of the design sector to New York City’s economy, and details that a disproportionate share of the growth in the sector is now occurring in Brooklyn,” said the authors of the report.

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