Mayor Adams Launches $1M Campaign To Boost Black Employment In NYC Government

April 29, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated new economic data showing that the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers has significantly decreased since the start of the administration.

Between January 1, 2022, and April 1, 2024, the Black unemployment rate in the five boroughs decreased from 10.7 percent to 7.9 percent — a 26 percent decrease. This marks the first time since 2019 that the Black unemployment rate in New York City has been below 8 percent.

Building on this progress, Mayor Adams today launched “Run This Town,” a $1 million multi-media advertising campaign to engage diverse New Yorkers and help them apply for thousands of available city government jobs. The announcement follows the launch of “Jobs NYC,” a multi-pronged citywide effort to reduce barriers to economic opportunities and deliver workforce development services directly to communities across the five boroughs that are experiencing high unemployment. Both campaigns are expected to further reduce the unacceptable disparities in employment between Black, Latino, and white communities.

“As recently as last January, Black New Yorkers were four times more likely to be unemployed than white New Yorkers, but we have been able to narrow this gap and, today, Black unemployment is down to its lowest point since 2019 and the racial employment disparity has been cut in half,” said Mayor Adams. “We have more to do and that’s why we’re going to bring new opportunities to working people across the five boroughs that have been overlooked for far too long. We want to recruit the next generation of leaders who will help us build a more equitable New York City, and ‘Run This Town’ will help us do exactly that. When we couple this advertising campaign with our Jobs NYC initiative, we’ll be able to more easily bring the public and private sectors together with talented New Yorkers who are ready to put their skills to work. Our administration is embarking on a new, exciting chapter in New York City’s history, and working-class job seekers have an opportunity to write it together with us.”

“Today, we are celebrating a significant milestone in New York City’s progress: a 26 percent decrease in Black unemployment. While there is still work to be done, this achievement reflects the Adams administration’s commitment to inclusive growth and economic empowerment for all New Yorkers,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “We are building upon this work with the launch of the ‘Run This Town’ campaign, which is an invitation to all New Yorkers — especially those who want to serve their communities — to consider joining the Adams administration. I am proud of the efforts we are undertaking to reduce barriers to entry and create equitable pipelines to employment, and hope all New Yorkers consider serving alongside us. We have thousands of good paying jobs with excellent benefits, and we are excited to expand our team.” 

“Public servants are everyday heroes that literally keep our city running,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “As we celebrate New York City’s record-high levels of employment and labor force participation, this administration is excited to recruit more New Yorkers across the five boroughs who are committed to building and improving communities through meaningful work in city service.”

“Our city’s hard-working public servants work every day to keep people safe, create more economic opportunities, and make this city more livable for their fellow New Yorkers, but we need more of our neighbors to join us in helping to ‘Run This Town,’” said Deputy Mayor for Communications Fabien Levy. “Between our Jobs NYC initiative, increased benefits and pay, and this new ad campaign, we’ll now be able to recruit some of the best talent in the city for the best jobs in the world. We can’t wait for thousands of New Yorkers to join the team and help make the greatest city in the world even greater.”

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“The Adams administration is improving the lives of working-class people everyday thanks to initiatives like the Jobs NYC talent portal that democratize technology and provide easier access to city services and information,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “Through the broader Jobs NYC effort, we’re empowering more New Yorkers, particularly residents in communities experiencing high unemployment, to take advantage of vital training and workforce development offerings and engage with citywide economic opportunities.”  

“Launching the ‘Run This Town’ campaign isn’t just about filling vacancies; it’s about igniting a passion for public service and inviting New Yorkers to be architects of change within their own careers and communities,” said New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “Together, through this campaign, we will help New Yorkers build careers in city service by opening doors to opportunity, fostering an inclusive workforce with applicants from every corner of the city, and helping to ensure that every voice is heard, and every community thrives.”

“After 10 years working in public service, I have no doubt that working in city government is one of the most rewarding experiences a New Yorker from any background or ethnicity can hope for,” said Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media Executive Director José Bayona. “For those looking for an opportunity to build a solid career, there is not a better place to look than our municipal force. Let’s ‘Run This Town’ together!”

“Public service is incredibly rewarding, and I encourage New Yorkers to join us at to explore available opportunities in city government,” said New York City Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Fred Kreizman. “The city workforce reflects the best and brightest of our diverse communities. If you are inspired to make a difference, then come work with the Adams administration and help us ‘Run This Town’ called New York City.”

“Public-sector jobs have provided generations of New Yorkers good paying jobs, dignity, and pathways to the middle-class, and ‘Run this Town’ will ensure the next generation can access those same opportunities,” said Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “Last month, Mayor Adams launched Jobs NYC to connect New Yorkers, especially those in communities wrestling with disproportionately high unemployment rates, to jobs and free training resources. ‘Run this Town’ doubles down on this effort by helping city agencies access the talent they need to deliver vital services and shared prosperity to New Yorkers.”

“With another record-high total jobs in New York City, including the Adams administration’s work to drive down the Black unemployment rate, Mayor Adams is doubling down on bolstering our economy with the launch of ‘Run This Town’ to get more New Yorkers in city government,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President (NYCEDC) and CEO Andrew Kimball. “The work that the administration has put in to creating jobs and opportunities is in action across the five boroughs. However, there is still work to be done, and at NYCEDC, we will continue to work across the public and private sectors to foster an inclusive economic recovery that creates opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

New York City government should directly reflect the diversity of our city,” said New York City Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit Executive Director Adrienne Lever. “Our team is thrilled to promote the new ‘Run This Town’ initiative and help encourage more New Yorkers from every walk of life to apply for city service.”

“Working for the city can be a pathway to economic mobility, as well as an opportunity to provide vital services to our fellow New Yorkers,” said Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Carson Hicks. “Thanks to the new tools online, it has never been easier to apply. We are a proud partner of Jobs NYC and applaud this new effort to bring the diversity of New Yorkers from all communities into employment in city government.”

“Run This Town” will engage New Yorkers through digital, TV, and radio advertisements, as well as through posters on subways, MTA buses, bus shelters, bodegas, and other physical locations. The campaign will direct New Yorkers to the new Jobs NYC online talent portal to find jobs and training opportunities. New Yorkers can also attend the city’s monthly in-person “hiring halls” and find public-and private-sector job opportunities along with career services.

The paid advertising campaign is being managed by the Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media. The creative material was produced by BCW, and the paid media placement is implemented by Sound Communications.

Today’s announcement builds on a series of policy reforms made by Mayor Adams to retain top talent in the city workforce, provide high-quality services to New Yorkers, and create equitable pipelines to enter the city’s workforce, which has historically been a vehicle for economic mobility for millions of New Yorkers. In June 2023, DCAS began reducing barriers to employment within city government by reforming the city’s minimum qualification requirements for entry level civil service titles. To date, DCAS has completed review on 17 entry-level titles with the potential to impact 20,000 jobs and expand eligibility for civil service positions that were previously restrictive and posed difficult for many applicants to meet minimum qualifications. Previous requirements mandated a college degree or credits, but with this updated review, the city is now more inclusive and equitable, focusing on relevant work experience and practical skills rather than just formal education.

Earlier this year, Mayor Adams made city government more family-friendly for thousands of employees by expanding both paid parental and family leave for non-union city workers. Impacting more than 10,000 municipal employees and making the city more competitive with municipalities and employers across the country, the Adams administration doubled paid parental leave for non-union employees, from six to 12 weeks, and began providing up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for those caring for seriously ill family members.

Additionally, in the last 14 months, Mayor Adams has successfully negotiated contracts with unions representing 95 percent of the city’s workforce and 100 percent of the city’s uniformed workforce — the quickest any mayoral administration has reached that milestone in modern city history. These agreements with District Council 37Communications Workers of America Local 1180, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial AssociationUniformed Sanitation Workers’ Union Local 831, the United Federation of Teachers, the Police Benevolent Association, the Uniformed Officers Coalition, the Council of School Supervisors and AdministratorsTeamsters Local 237, and dozens of other unions have all included wage increases, including retroactive wage increases for employees that had not received a raise in years. Additionally, many of these contracts included dedicated funding to address retention and recruitment challenges and other important benefits, such as the child care fund established in the agreement with DC 37.

Additionally, in an effort to retain talent in the human services sector, last month, Mayor Adams announced a $741 million investment for an estimated 80,000 human services workers employed by non-profit organizations with a city contract as part of a new cost-of-living adjustment.

“The reduction of Black unemployment by more than 25 percent under Mayor Adams’ leadership is a testament to his commitment to inclusive growth and economic empowerment,” said New York State Assemblywoman Alicia L. Hyndman. “The ‘Run This Town’ campaign, along with the Jobs NYC initiative, reflects a proactive approach to addressing unemployment disparities and connecting New Yorkers with meaningful employment opportunities. By doubling down on strategies to make city jobs more accessible, the Adams administration is laying the groundwork for a more equitable and prosperous future for all residents.”

“Job creation is a hallmark of Mayor Adams’ administration,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “We recovered all the jobs lost a year sooner than projected, and now boast the most in history. The Black unemployment rate exemplifies this trend. It has plummeted from 15.5% at the height of the pandemic to 7.9% today. Fueling this success was the ‘Jobs NYC’ initiative, during which I proudly partnered with the mayor to co-host a hiring hall in Queens. Today’s launch of the ‘Run This Town’ campaign accelerates our momentum, as we recruit people from all the diverse communities of our city for government jobs. Through this effort, we will open the doors of opportunity to New Yorkers and uplift entire communities.”

New York City’s economy has roared back post-COVID, but nowhere has that been more evident than in Queens, where unemployment is down to just 4 percent — the lowest of any borough — and significant strides are being made every day to create jobs, especially in historically marginalized communities of color,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “With new initiatives like ‘Run This Town’ and continued partnerships with the mayor’s office and others, I know progress will continue to be steadily made here in Queens and across the city.”

“Expanding economic opportunities for all New Yorkers, particularly in communities with historically high unemployment rates, is critical to advancing an equitable recovery,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The decrease in the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers is a positive trend that we must build upon with additional actions that help more people successfully secure and retain jobs. Careers in the municipal workforce continue to be a pathway to the middle class, and we must invest in strengthening access to these opportunities and others that can provide financial stability.”

“The reduction in Black unemployment illustrates the success of the partnerships that the Adams Administration has built with employers around hiring, training, and workforce development,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

“The mayor’s launch of ‘Run This Town’ is a creative and well-timed intervention given the high vacancy rates across city agencies and the fact that too many New Yorkers are looking for work,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., CEO, Robin Hood. “The city, under Mayor Adams’ leadership, has made tremendous gains in reducing Black unemployment, but troubling gaps remain. Black unemployment in New York City remains high compared to rates for other New Yorkers and Americans generally. Tearing down barriers to city employment is a critical step in ensuring all New Yorkers, including New Yorkers of color, have access to opportunities.” 

Photo credit: Wiki.

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