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New York City's economic growth is back to outpacing the country's, according to a report from City Comptroller William Thompson. The city's growth rate of 7% for the first quarter of 2004, compared to a national 4.4%, is the highest since 1999. The Comptroller says it's because of the "21,100 increase in NYC payroll jobs, seasonally adjusted, and an increase in revenues based on the personal income tax.” But, as the Times points out, "the news is not all good," what with NYC's unemployment rate of 8.1% being still much higher than the national average; in fact, NYC's job growth is 16th, with Pittsburgh, Boston, SF, and Detroit rounding out the U.S.'s 20 metropolitan areas (take that, SF!). But keep in mind that this unemployment number is the lowest since third quarter 2002, so it seems like there's still some fluidity. The Daily News reports that the jobs are being created in education, health services and information sector. Also, NYC's inflation rate, while falling from 3.2% to 2.8%, still is much higher than the U.S.'s. Eh, that seems about right, it costing more to live in NYC...not that we like it, but it's a privilege we pay for. Other indicators: Hotel occupancy is up, building permits rose, help-wanted advertising fell.

Read the report itself (PDF). And Mayor Bloomberg is pretty happy about the news: "Our five-borough economic development strategy of making New York more livable, more business-friendly and diversifying our economy is leading to job creation and opportunity. However, although unemployment is at its lowest rate in two years, far too many New Yorkers are not participating in the American dream and we will continue to work day and night to change that."