Bikeshare: Another Half-Baked Economy Booster for NYC

New York City transportation bloggers and tweeters have been absolutely titillated over the past few days by the announcement that the four boroughs (sorry, Staten Island) will be getting a new bike share system next summer.  The city has decided to partner with Alta Bicycle Share based in Portland, Oregon to create the system.

Mayor Bloomberg argues it will be a huge boon to the economy, creating jobs, adding advertising revenue, and alleviating traffic problems.

The model is similar to dozens of systems that have been rolled out around the world over the past decade.  Velib in Paris and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC are two of the most popular programs and both served as a blueprint for the NYC system.  Blah blah. Look it up. I’m tired of explaining.

So here’s my gripe: do they really think this public/private partnership is going to work? This rinky-dink company actually has the track record to take on New York City?

Continue reading

Top 5 Unlikely Places to Look for a Job in NYC

You’re broke. You’re bored. You surf the internet endlessly looking for that miracle job that nobody else found.  Most likely, that’s how you ended up here.

When it comes to making ends meet, most folks aren’t willing to cobble together piecemeal work and scramble for nickels.  But if you are, here are some (legal) methods you might not have considered.

1) Craigslist Free Section

We’ve all been there.  The Craigslist free section is full of random crap that occasionally has some real value.  That baby stroller with the busted wheel?  Fix it cheap and that’s a cool 50 bucks in your pocket.  Think about it.

2) IKEA Lot Hustler

It seems like everybody should be able to put it together right? WRONG. Old ladies and college students across America are confounded by those obnoxious illustrations every day. Head on over to Red Hook, bring your hex key, and kindly approach patrons in the parking lot with a big smile.  You will be surprised.

3) Art School Nude Model

No six-pack abs? No problem. Get yourself a robe, a pair of sandals, and a bottle of water. Done. Call the schools at the link above and you will definitely have a job before you finish this list.

4) Man With A… Zipcar?

It is easy math.  A Zipcar truck is about $14/hour, depending on the day. The going rate for a Man with a Van is about $40/hour.  Hit the traffic right, work quickly, and you might be on to something.

5) The Wandering Handyman

Go for a walk around your neighborhood.  Do you notice all those rusty fences, peeling paint jobs and leaf-filled rain gutters?  Those are dollar signs, my friend. Laundromats always need their filters emptied. Get creative.  There’s cash around every corner.

Nonprofit Sector Remains Shining Light in A Pathetic Jobs Forecast

President Barack Obama will be addressing the country tonight on what will most likely be a pretty awful jobs outlook.  Growth is stagnant and some are speculating that the Great Recession is about to take a double dip into the red.

Miraculously, the nonprofit sector has seemingly bucked the national trend., the largest nonprofit job search engine in the United States, recently reported that hiring from the site was up almost 14 percent in the month of August.  The number of jobs posted to the site passed 10,000 in July, a record high.

The survey is echoed in broader national data published this month by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies which makes the astounding claim that nonprofit job growth has actually increased during the recession compared to numbers from 2001-2007.

Why this matters to New Yorkers? New York City has not only the largest concentration of nonprofits in the United States, but the industry is also the largest private employer in the five boroughs with nearly $20 billion in annual payroll according to a 2009 study from the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Experts have been noticing that the New York City economy has managed to maintain a respectable level of buoyancy in 2011, despite serious slowdowns elsewhere.  Recent numbers on nonprofit industry growth only reinforce this popular analysis.

So while President Obama prepares for what could be the most depressing speech of his tenure, keep in mind that Mayor Bloomberg is most certainly not suffering the same fate. In fact, he has plenty to be excited about.