The economy of New York City encompasses the largest municipal and regional economy in the United States. Anchored by Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City has been characterized as the world's premier financial center. It is home to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, the world's two largest stock exchanges by both market capitalization and trading activity. In 2012, the New York metropolitan area generated a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of over US$1.33 trillion with a population of 20.3 million people. The Combined Statistical Area produced a GMP of over US$1.55 trillion. Both are ranked first nationally by a wide margin and being roughly equivalent to the GDP of South Korea at less than half its population. The city's economy accounts for most of the economic activity in both the states of New York and New Jersey.
Manhattan is the world's leading center of banking, finance, and communication. It is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street. Many of the world's largest corporations are headquartered in Manhattan. The borough contained over 500 million square feet (46.5 million m2) of office space in 2015,  making it the largest office market in the United States. Midtown Manhattan, with nearly 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) that same year, is the largest central business district in the world. New York City is distinctive for its high concentrations of advanced service sector firms in the law, accountancy, banking and management consultancy fields. It is the top global center for the advertising industry, which is metonymously called "Madison Avenue". Silicon Alley, metonymous for New York's broad-spectrum high technology sphere, continues to expand.
Finance, high technology, real estate, insurance, and health care all form the basis of New York City's economy. The city is also the nation's most important center for mass media, journalism, and publishing. Also, it is the country's preeminent arts center. Creative industries such as digital media, advertising, fashion, design and architecture account for a growing share of employment. New York City possesses a strong competitive advantage in these industries. Despite declining, manufacturing remains consequential.
City economic overview
|Top publicly traded companies|
in New York City
(ranked by 2015 revenues)
with City and U.S. ranks
|5||American International Group||49|
|7||New York Life||61|
|10||TIAA (Teachers Ins. & Annuity)||82|
|Every firm's revenue exceeded $30 billion|
|Financial services firms in green|
|Full table at Economy of New York City|
|Source: Fortune 500|
New York City is a global hub of business and commerce, as a center for banking and finance, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States; while Silicon Alley, metonymous for New York's broad-spectrum high technology sphere, continues to expand. The Port of New York and New Jersey is also a major economic engine, handling record cargo volume in 2017, over 6.7 million TEUs. New York City's unemployment rate fell to its record low of 4.0% in September 2018.
Many Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in New York City, as are a large number of multinational corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. New York City has been ranked first among cities across the globe in attracting capital, business, and tourists. This ability to attract foreign investment helped New York City top the FDi Magazine American Cities of the Future ranking for 2013.
As of 2013[update], the global advertising agencies of Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group, both based in Manhattan, had combined annual revenues of approximately US$21 billion, reflecting New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry, which is metonymously known as "Madison Avenue". The city's fashion industry provides approximately 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages.
Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing accounts for a significant but declining share of employment, even though the city's garment industry is showing a resurgence in Brooklyn. Food processing is a US$5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents.
Chocolate is New York City's leading specialty-food export, with up to US$234 million worth of exports each year. Entrepreneurs were forming a "Chocolate District" in Brooklyn as of 2014[update], while Godiva, one of the world's largest chocolatiers, continues to be headquartered in Manhattan.
New York City's most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S. financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. The city's securities industry, enumerating 163,400 jobs in August 2013, continues to form the largest segment of the city's financial sector and an important economic engine, accounting in 2012 for 5 percent of the city's private sector jobs, 8.5 percent (US$3.8 billion) of its tax revenue, and 22 percent of the city's total wages, including an average salary of US$360,700. Many large financial companies are headquartered in New York City, and the city is also home to a burgeoning number of financial startup companies.
Lower Manhattan is home to the New York Stock Exchange, on Wall Street, and the NASDAQ, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013. Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012, while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually. In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry generated 19% of New York State's tax revenue. New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy.:31–32 In July 2013, NYSE Euronext, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, took over the administration of the London interbank offered rate from the British Bankers Association. New York also leads in hedge fund management; private equity; and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment managers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers.:34–35 New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States.
Tech and biotech
Silicon Alley, centered in Manhattan, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York City metropolitan region's high technology industries involving the Internet, new media, telecommunications, digital media, software development, biotechnology, game design, financial technology ("FinTech"), and other fields within information technology that are supported by its entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments. In 2015, Silicon Alley generated over US$7.3 billion in venture capital investment across a broad spectrum of high technology enterprises, most based in Manhattan, with others in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in the region. High technology startup companies and employment are growing in New York City and the region, bolstered by the city's position in North America as the leading Internet hub and telecommunications center, including its vicinity to several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, New York's intellectual capital, and its extensive outdoor wireless connectivity. Verizon Communications, headquartered at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, was at the final stages in 2014 of completing a US$3 billion fiberoptic telecommunications upgrade throughout New York City. As of 2014[update], New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector. The technology sector has been claiming a greater share of New York City's economy since 2010.
The biotechnology sector is also growing in New York City, based upon the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. On December 19, 2011, then Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a US$2 billion graduate school of applied sciences called Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital. By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.
Research and medical services drive New York's healthcare industry. The city has the most post-graduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, 60,000 licensed physicians, and 127 Nobel laureates with roots in local institutions. New York receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities, after Boston
Health care industry employs approximately 565,000 people in New York City, according to the U.S. Census, making it the city's 2nd largest employer, after government. In New York, the 565,000 people work at more than 70 hospitals, and the city's 20 public hospitals serve 1.5 million inpatients yearly.
Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at US$1.072 trillion for the 2017 fiscal year, an increase of 10.6% from the previous year with 89% of the increase coming from market effects. The Time Warner Center is the property with the highest-listed market value in the city, at US$1.1 billion in 2006. New York City is home to some of the nation's—and the world's—most valuable real estate. 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007 for US$510 million, about $1,589 per square foot ($17,104/m²), breaking the barely month-old record for an American office building of $1,476 per square foot ($15,887/m²) set in the June 2007 sale of 660 Madison Avenue. According to Forbes, in 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten ZIP Codes in the United States by median housing price. Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017. In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States achieved completion in Manhattan, at a selling price of US$238 million, for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.
Manufacturing accounts for a significant share of employment. Garments, chemicals, metal products, processed foods, and furniture are some of the principal products. The food-processing industry is the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city. Food making is a $5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents, many of them immigrants who speak little English. Chocolate is New York City's leading specialty-food export, with $234 million worth of exports each year.
There are over 233,000 manufacturing jobs in more than 10,000 New York City industrial businesses , with the highest concentration of industrial employment in Manhattan. This includes manufacturing, warehousing, utilities, and transportation. Manufacturing jobs average $41,000 annually (NYS DOL, 2nd Qtr 2005), about $10,000 more than comparable jobs in retail or restaurants. The manufacturing sector has the highest percentage of first-generation immigrants making up 64% of the workforce (NYC Dept. City Planning) and African Americans comprising 78% of the production workforce (2004 American Community Survey).
These are small businesses, with an average size of 21 employees (NYS DOL, 2nd Qtr 2005). Examples of goods manufactured in the city include Broadway costumes, custom-made cabinets, croissants for hotels, and wooden crates for shipping fine art. These items are labor-intensive and require collaboration between the end-user and the manufacturer. In recent years, as real estate and globalization pressures have increased, the remaining manufacturers have become more design-oriented and single customer-focused. To boot, production methods have become cleaner and more technology-driven.
Despite the adaptability of New York manufacturers, there remain looming challenges to the sector’s survival. A 2003 city-sponsored survey of the industrial sector identified three major local challenges to retaining businesses: 1) high cost of real estate; 2) high costs of doing business; and, 3) uncertainty about land use policy.
A 12,900-square-foot (1,200 m2) biodiesel plant run by Tri-State Biodiesel, LLC began construction in the Bronx in 2010. The facility processes used cooking oil collected by TSB from over 2000 New York restaurants with methanol and a catalyst to create biodiesel fuel. More than 1 million US gallons (3,800 m3) of waste oil could be collected in Brooklyn every year according to a 2004 Cornell study. The fuel produces 78 percent less carbon-dioxide emissions than standard diesel.
The City of New York is unique among American cities for its large number of foreign corporations. One out of every ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. Often this makes the perspective of New York’s business community internationalist and at odds with Washington’s foreign policy, trade policy, and visa policy.
Since 2000, China has been New York's leading growth market for exports. The New York Metropolitan Region is home to more than half of the 32 largest Chinese companies with offices in the United States. These companies represent a broad array of industries including shipping, steel, energy and manufacturing firms, and services. Many have chosen to open headquarters in New York in anticipation of eventual listing on the respective New York stock exchanges and entering U.S. capital markets. New York City currently boasts seven Chinese daily newspapers, two Chinese language television stations, and the largest Chinese neighborhood in the United States. New York area airports provide 12 daily flights to Hong Kong and five to Beijing, the most flights out of the eastern half of the United States.
In one measure of how international New York City's economy is, data compiled by the agents Knight Frank show foreign owners make up 34% of sales in the city's prime residential market. New York ranks ahead of Paris, where such sales account for 27%, Hong Kong 13%, and Sydney 9%. London, however, is the most cosmopolitan world city in terms of property ownership; more than 51% of homes there worth more than £2m which is also $3.8m EU3m sold in 2005 have gone to overseas buyers from Russia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
International shipping has always been a major part of the city's economy because of New York's natural harbor, but with the advent of [containerization] most cargo shipping has moved from the Brooklyn waterfront across the harbor to the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey. Some cargo shipping remains; for example, Brooklyn still handles the majority of cocoa bean imports to the United States.
New York is by far the most important center for American mass media, journalism, and publishing. The city is the top media market in the United States, with 7% of the country’s television-viewing households. Three of the Big Four music recording companies have their headquarters in the city. More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city. The book publishing industry alone employs 25,000 people. For these and other reasons, New York is often called "the media capital of the world".
Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city.
New York is a prominent location for the American entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there. New York City is the second largest center for filmmaking and television production in the United States, producing about 200 feature films annually, employing 130,000 individuals; the filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly US$9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015, and by volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production – one-third of all American independent films are produced in New York City. The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York. In the first five months of 2014 alone, location filming for television pilots in New York City exceeded the record production levels for all of 2013, with New York surpassing Los Angeles as the top North American city for the same distinction during the 2013/2014 cycle.
Top publicly traded companies in New York
Fortune 500 companies headquartered in New York state that earned revenues of more than $15 billion in 2015. All but two are based in New York City; IBM and Pepsico are based in Westchester County, New York, just north of New York City.
|2||2||23||61||J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.||$101.0||234,598||Commercial Banks|
|(a)||4||31||82||IBM (Armonk, NY)||$82.5||411,798||Information Technology Services|
|4||5||40||121||MetLife||$70.0||69,000||Life and Health Insurance (stock)|
|(b)||6||44||141||Pepsico (Purchase, NY)||$63.1||283,000||Food Consumer Products|
|5||7||49||152||American International Group||$58.3||66,400||Property and Casualty Insurance (stock)|
|7||9||61||297||New York Life Insurance||$45.9||11,463||Life and Health Insurance (mutual)|
|8||10||74||278||Goldman Sachs Group||$39.2||36,800||Commercial Banks [formerly Securities]|
|9||11||78||306||Morgan Stanley||$37.9||56,218||Commercial Banks [formerly Securities]|
|10||12||82||349||TIAA (Teachers Ins. & Annuity)||$35.2||12,735||Life and Health Insurance (mutual)|
|11||13||83||352||INTL FCStone||$34.7||1,231||Diversified Financials|
|12||14||85||325||American Express||$34.4||54,800||Diversified Financials|
|13||15||96||375||Twentieth Century Fox||$29.0||20,500||Entertainment|
|15||17||105||438||Travelers Companies||$26.8||30,800||Property and Casualty Insurance (stock)|
|16||18||106||398||Philip Morris International||$26.8||80,200||Tobacco|
|17||19||116||–||Time Warner Cable||$23.7||56,430||Telecommunications|
|20||22||174||–||Colgate-Palmolive||$16.0||37,900||Household and Personal Products|
|21||23||179||–||The Bank of New York Mellon||$15.5||51,200||Commercial Banks|
|22||24||184||–||Icahn Enterprises||$15.3||73,807||Diversified Financials|
|23||25||188||–||Omnicom Group||$15.1||74,900||Advertising, Marketing|
|Sources: Fortune 500 website, Fortune Global 500 website and Fortune, Volume 173, Number 8 (June 15, 2016)|
(a), (b) : Armonk and Purchase are in Westchester County, NY, outside and north of New York City
Ranked by revenues in the fiscal year that ended before February 1, 2016.
The world rank is based on the Fortune Global 500's revenues for the fiscal year that ended before April 1, 2015.
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