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New York City Tech Industry Strong, Growing Fast

The upside to Silicon Alley is again confirmed by study, which finds almost 300,000 people in 'tech ecosystem' jobs paying 49 percent better than average citywide wages.

As if the thriving New York City tech ecosystem needed any more heady boosterism.

Jobs in the technology sector in New York City are not only being created at a faster pace than in other sectors, but they also pay 49 percent more than the average citywide hourly wage. As of early this year, 7 percent of the city's working population is in tech, and the sector is generating an outsized portion of the city's tax revenue: 12 percent.

Jobs Machine

The new report, from groups with obvious interest in the growth of the industry, the Association for a Better New York, Google, Citi, and the New York Tech Meetup, finds that 291,000 people are empoyed in the New York City "tech ecosystem." That ecosystem, though, includes 150,000 "non-tech industry" workers.

A September 2013 study commissioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's private foundation counted 262,000 existing jobs in tech and information. That study found tech jobs made up 8.1 percent of the non-government positions in New York City.

The new 2014 study, in addition to including tech workers in non-technical industries, also includes the self-employed. It's attempting to look at the tech industry not as a silo of big tech firms such as Google and Facebook, both of which have offices in New York City, but as a diverse ecosystem stretching throughout the city's economy.

"The spectrum of tech-related occupations--from programmers to sales reps--is creating well-paying and quality jobs for New Yorkers of all levels of educational attainment," says the study's author, Kate Wittels, a director at HR&A Advisors, a real-estate and economic-development consulting firm. "Fostering the growth of the New York tech ecosystem will increase economic opportunity for all New Yorkers."

The number of technologists actually in the tech sector, as narrowly defined, was found to be still fairly small: 58,000. Outside of the tech sector, 150,000 tech workers are employed in New York City. Also counted in the study were 83,000 non-technical jobs in the tech sector, say, being a receptionist at Google or selling advertising for Foursquare.

Perhaps most staggering is the economic impact the study found based on its calculations of the entire technology sector, tech-related jobs, and the 250,000 jobs "generated through multiplier effects," totaling 541,000 jobs. That's 12.6 of the city's workforce, and it earns $50.6 billion in annual compensation--and creates $124.7 billion in annual output. That's no small change.


Last updated: Apr 2, 2014

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.

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