The workforce of New York contributes to one of the largest urban economies worldwide. New York City is a global financial center in every aspect, whose performance has far-reaching effects across the world, for better or worse.
Many people working in New York’s private sector are employed by foreign corporations, and the city is truly a major site for global business. International companies naturally attract an international workforce, and nearly half of all wage earners in New York are indeed foreign born.
For many foreign employees, working in New York undoubtedly has a glamorous element. The buzz of the big city and a competitive business environment make expat assignments in New York an unforgettable experience. For employers, a diverse and innovative workforce allows for recruiting the cream of the crop from a pool of highly skilled and well-qualified people.
As people working in New York will know, the impact and importance of New York's major industries naturally far exceed what we can cover in this overview. Nevertheless, the financial sector plays a major role in the city’s economy.
NYC provides the financial services sector with both talent and customers, which is why more than a hundred different banks from many different countries — along with their countless employees — are located here. Even though only 8% of the city’s employees work in the financial sector, they contribute 20% of the Gross City Product (“GCP”), which is almost twice as much as the next largest industries, e.g. real estate or science.
The city’s position as the global capital of financial service providers is challenged only by London and Tokyo. However, with the world’s two largest stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, located in Manhattan, the city easily bears comparison to its two competitors.
It’s no surprise that tourism is also a major employer in New York. At this point, more than 50 million tourists visit New York every year. After the global economic crisis, the city’s government pledged to focus on tourism as a significant source of income for many people working in New York, with some success.
The metropolis also boasts some of the world's most expensive real estate, particularly in Manhattan. Employers working in the high-rise office buildings in Manhattan’s business hotspots can pride themselves on sitting at a desk in one of the most desirable office spaces in the world. As a natural consequence, there are plenty of job opportunities for hard-nosed real estate professionals with plans of working in New York.
New York City could also be called the media capital of the United States as far as the sheer number of people working in New York’s creative industries is concerned. As a major center for the publishing industry as well as for music, television, and advertising, New York has a media workforce of several hundreds of thousands.
Design, architecture, and fashion are usually also considered part of the creative industries, and fashion alone provides jobs for over 183,000 people, making up 5.5% of New York’s workforce.
With 110 educational, 164 academic, and 1,400 cultural institutions, New York’s arts, non-profit, and higher education sector is another fixture of the city’s employment market. So is the medical sector, where qualified expats may find opportunities at one of the nearly 250 hospitals and other healthcare providers.
The high concentration of academic institutions has attracted a host of bioscience companies to New York, allowing the high-tech industry to flourish. “Green” industries have made a relatively recent appearance, but working in New York’s green sector is certainly gaining in popularity.
In line with the increasing global awareness of climate change issues, the NYC government put forward 30 initiatives in 2009 intended to support and attract “green” entrepreneurs and businesses. These initiatives are designed to make living and working in New York a healthier and more attractive proposition and to double the city’s green workforce in the next decade.
Do you want to find out more about major economic sectors and the economic outlook of the country? Our article on the US economy provides this information and more.
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