You are reading

The Jackson Heights Economy is Thriving, Buoyed By Immigrants: Report

Oct. 24, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Jackson Heights has outperformed other New York City neighborhoods economically thanks to its large immigrant population, according to a new report released today.

Since the end of the 2009 recession, Jackson Heights has seen an influx of local businesses and employment and the area’s large, vibrant immigrant community is the driving force, according to a report by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The Comptroller’s report is an economic snapshot of the greater Jackson Heights area, including Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and North Corona. 

According to its findings, 660 businesses were added to the community from 2009 to 2018 for a total of 3,300 businesses. Many are small retail shops and restaurants that reflect the neighborhood’s diversity, with 88 percent having fewer than 10 employees. 

Altogether businesses made more money as well. Taxable business sales increased by 72 percent since 2009 to reach $473 million in 2017. The area’s growth rate was faster than Queens– up 54 percent–and the city’s at 50 percent. 

In addition, 4,000 private sector jobs were added to the local economy since 2009. Private sector employment increased 23 percent to 20,900. Two thirds of the jobs were added in retail, construction and leisure and hospitality, according to the report. 

The unemployment rate for the greater Jackson Heights area fell to 4.2 percent in 2017 — lower than the borough-wide rate of 5.2 percent and the citywide rate of 6.4 percent. The household poverty rate also fell from 20 percent in 2010 to 13 percent in 2017 for the second-largest decline among the city’s 55 neighborhoods. The decline represents 15,200 fewer people in poverty.

“Jackson Heights’ diverse and dynamic immigrant community is the driving force behind the local economy that has seen growth in the number of businesses, jobs and household income,” DiNapoli said. “The Jackson Heights area is living proof of the positive economic and cultural benefits immigration brings to our communities.”

Many of the small business owners are immigrants who reside in the neighborhood. There were 102,300 immigrants, representing 60 percent of the area’s population, in 2017, much higher than the citywide percentage of 37 and the nationwide of 14 percent.

Immigrants also made up more than three-quarters of employed residents — the second highest share among the city’s 55 census-defined neighborhoods, according to the study

Jackson Heights’ largest immigrant groups are Ecuadorians, Dominicans, Mexicans, Bangladeshis, Colombians, Peruvians, Chinese and Indians. Of the area’s 12,650 self-employed residents, 90 percent were immigrants, higher than anywhere else in the city. 

“Jackson Heights is showing the nation how a vibrant immigrant community strengthens our society, both culturally and economically,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “We must continue to invest in ourselves — our housing, our education, our health care, and our small businesses — to further uplift working-class and immigrant communities.”

email the author:


Click for Comments 

These are the legal immigrants who come here and build businesses and contribute to society. Unlike the illegals who just collect free Medicaid and live off welfare with their anchor babies.

It will pay for itself

Once the wall is built the US taxpayers will save hundreds of billions of dollars buy not having to pay for the health care, housing, incarceration and education of the illegals….wont cost the taxpayers a dime….and we might even get to keep medicare and social security in tact…see you at the polls!!

Why has Trump completely failed to deliver one of his central campaign promises

Then why did we have the Trump Shutdown? ? Oops, you’re completely wrong.

Trump promised Mexico would make a “one-time payment” for it. You didn’t actually believe him did you? Gullible!

He wants more taxes so the taxpayer can fund it. But he got ousmarted by Democrats. Sad!

nobody cares

Americans don’t care where the funding comes from ….they just want the wall…even if it takes private donations…If every Trump supporter who voted in 2016 would donate $80 we could raise enough money to fund and build most of the entire US southern border wall.
WE LOVE TRUMP IN QUEENS!! HOMETOWN HERO!! already planning my big victory party/bbq…see you at the polls!!

Taxpayers care where the money comes from

Why do taxpayers have to pay for the wall? Isn’t Mexico making a one-time payment for it?

James g

I own a business in Jackson heights, this isnt true. We spend in the neighborhood stores but these new immigrants don’t spend in American owned stores. Build the wall. They should be deported.

Why has Trump completely failed to deliver one of his central campaign promises

Wasn’t Mexico going to make a “one-time payment” for the wall? Lmao.

Now he’s begging taxpayers for money? 3 years in and NO progress on the wall at all.

You didn’t actually believe him did you?

because Dems keep blocking the funding

cant wait to retake the House in 2020 so we can finally implement the wishes of the majority in this country and not a spoiled brat minority with an out sized voice due to their privilege..hooray for the electoral college!!.Trumpy gonna crush it….see you at the polls!!…..cant wait to see the highlight reel of all the pretend socialists crying the day after the election before they move to the wealthy suburbs to hide like cowards….wait!! ..three(insert any phony impeachment nonsense you like)


Not all Democrats are against a wall they’re against their working Americans paying for it. Working Americans have paid with lower wages and less social security funding in the hundreds of billions because of illegal alien labor. Let the people who have profited in the billions pay for the wall. Giving back just 10 billion dollars of the Trillion Dollar tax break the orange clown rewarded them with for their criminal behavior and inability to control their greed by using illegal slave labor is just a drop in the bucket.

Why does he need the Dems to give him taxpayer money?

I agree, the Dems completely outsmarted him. But why do taxpayers need to pay for it?

Wasn’t Mexico going to make a “one-time payment” for the wall? Lmao!

Wasn’t the Trump Shutdown a little tantrum to get money?

Wow, what a failure.

Crackson Heights

So you mean buy Hondas?You do know that foreign cars are being made in America while American car companies are being built in Mexico and other countries. Oh that’s right you just listen to Fox news propaganda. I’ll see you in Jackson Heights in my American made Honda .

Where's the wall?

> Build the wall.

Still waiting on that “one-time payment” from Mexico. Lmao!

please keep blocking the funding

and also keep advocating for giving illegals free healthcare over Americans, taking peoples guns, open borders, the green new deal, transgender bathrooms, breaking car culture, and the mass genocide of unborn children…you might actually get 3 or 4 votes in Mich, Ohio, Fla, Penn, Wisconsin….the progressive fad is dying like the days of disco and the hula hoop…. gonna be looking at it in a museum like the dodo bird…will be nice to see nostalgic movies about it one day…I hope Lena Dunham plays AOC…lmao

Why does he need permission when Mexico is making a “one-time payment” to pay for the wall?

Wonder why you can’t answer that. Where’s that one-time payment from Mexico?

If we had that, he wouldn’t be begging to make taxpayers pay for it.

Crackson Heights

Hi James how about you be less of coward and post what buisness you own so I can never shop there again. I mean you should let people know where only American customers are accepted right . Call my bluff if not you’re just a coward behind a screen .


This is a bit hard to believe knowing that a lot of small business shops along 37th Ave have shut down because of soaring rent prices, and people have also moved because of soaring rent prices. The small businesses that have come in are more of the gentrification movement like The Queen’s Boro. You also see increasing gentrification in general

Jackson Heights for Trump

The driving force of the thriving economy is Donald Trump, with Hispanic unemployment at all time lows. Trump 2020

Hispanic unemployment fell from 13% to 4% under Obama

Now it’s down to 3.8%, and Trump gets the credit? How gullible.

when bush left office it was 4%

then when obama left office it was 6%….now it is down to 3.8%…a great day for Hispanics in america…Thank you President Trump….I am sure these immigrants are glad you are protecting this country from becoming a socialist nightmare like the countries that they originally fled to actually have opportunities under a great capitalist system….I am sure they will vote for their children’s future and re-elect trump… Dems really miscalculated this one

I agree, you were completely wrong about Trump doing anything for hispanics

Thanks for agreeing that Obama deserves all the credit for the dramatic decrease in hispanic unemployment

>I am sure these immigrants are glad you are protecting this country

Yeah, it’s a shame Trump completely lied about Mexico making a “one-time payment” for The Great Wall huh? Wow, you’re gullible.


Trump inherited a thriving economy. What, we should all be thankful he didn’t screw up yet like he did with his casinos, Plaza Hotel, Trump air or Trump University?


Oh yeah, the lady talking in Spanish touting cash for gold on the corner, the sex workers do well, jerks trying to chase Target away, food carts where they don’t belong, the shady characters in Danny’s Diversity Plaza, double parking to run in and grab a taco. Who do you think lives here, Midwestern farmers? The idea of who lives there is not news. One group pushes out another group until the hipsters and yuppies come in and clean it all up. You can keep it!

what a load of crap

The illegals don’t pay taxes so they have more disposable income than citizens and they get their healthcare for free…when you subtract the amount of money we the taxpayers have to pay for the housing, healthcare and subsistence of the displaced American workers they undercut with their willingness to work for substandard wages these communities are a net loss…nice try DiNapoli….not gonna build up your voting base on my back….if you think its so positive then you should move there…

Why has Trump completely failed to deliver one of his central campaign promises

>The illegals don’t pay taxes

Yeah, why didn’t Mexico make a “one-time payment” for The Wall? Lmao

Trump says not paying taxes "makes you smart"

What’s wrong with other people doing it? Was he wrong?


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

NYPD searching for burglary crew that targeted nearly 30 laundromats in Queens and others in Brooklyn and the Bronx

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst are looking for three masked men who broke into Susan’s Laundromat at 85-12 Grand Ave. at around 3:15 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while a fourth member of their crew acted as a lookout near their getaway car parked in front.

The burglars stole $1,800 in cash and removed a payment machine for the laundry room continuing an undetermined amount of cash.

Law enforcement ghost car crackdowns continue with dozens of vehicles seized on Whitestone Bridge: MTA

MTA Bridge and Tunnel officers, the NYPD and law enforcement partners impounded 55 vehicles from motorists crossing into Queens on the Whitestone Bridge on Monday, July 8, as a multi-agency crackdown continued unabated.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that through 25 joint enforcement operations focusing on ghost plates and persistent toll violators on bridges and tunnels throughout New York City, 1,540 vehicles have been impounded, 339 arrests have been made and 12,007 summonses have been issued so far this year to drivers who owe more than $12.5 million in unpaid tolls and fees.