New York

Working in New York?

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Working in New York

As an expat working in New York, you will participate in one of the largest city economies worldwide! Here, foreign corporations and local businesses make up a diverse job market. Our article on working in New York looks into various fields of employment, social security, taxes, and more.
Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are cornerstones of the city's financial sector.
  • New York is the world’s capital of finance, however, tourism, real estate, media, and the green industries are also major employers in the city.
  • Taxation is relatively low in the USA, but keep in mind that tax is due on the federal as well as the state level.
  • Everybody working in the US has to pay social security. However, if your home country has a Social Security Agreement with the States, you might be exempt from making social security contributions.
  • The job market in New York is hard to crack; make sure to plan enough time for your search and also think about unsolicited applications.
  • Finding housing in NYC is difficult and prices are high. The help of a real estate agent might be an option; otherwise, newspaper and online listing services are the first point of information.


According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.


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.

The World’s Capital of Finance

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.

How about Tourism or Real Estate?

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.

The Capital of Creative Heads

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.

New Working Opportunities: The Green Industries

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.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Javier Vazquez

"Even in a crowded city like the Big Apple you can easily get lost. With InterNations I've made some really good friends and also added to my business contacts."

Noemi Roussel

"The top events organized in the New York chapter helped me get to know expat women from France and many other countries all over the world."

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