SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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NYC’s Tech Ecosystem Generates 541,000 Jobs, $125 Billion in Annual Spending and $5.6 Billion in Tax Revenues

The New York City tech ecosystem generates more than half a million jobs, $50 billion in annual compensation, nearly $125 billion in annual output, and $ 5.6 billion in tax revenues, a new study released today finds. The study, “The New York City Tech Ecosystem,” conducted by HR&A Advisors and commissioned by the Association for a Better New York, Citi, Google and NY Tech Meetup, aims to understand the comprehensive size and economic and fiscal impact of all New York City tech jobs, and reframes how tech is defined by going beyond the traditional tech and start-up sector.

The study’s author, Kate Wittels, Director at HR&A Advisors, coins the term “tech ecosystem.” This study is the first ever to look at all jobs in technology industries as well as technology jobs in non-tech industries, and the self-employed. Where prior studies have treated the tech industry as an independent silo, this study considers the entire ecosystem, and tech’s distribution and impact on the overall economy.

The study finds that 291,000 people, or 7% of New York City’s workforce, are employed in the New York City tech ecosystems. More than half of those, 150,000, work in non-tech industries. Indirectly, the ecosystem generates an additional 250,000 jobs through multiplier effects. Together they comprise 12.6% of New York City’s total workforce. The New York City tech ecosystem is a major economic driver for New York City, comparable to the retail and healthcare sector. Surprisingly, 44% of all tech ecosystem jobs do not require a Bachelor’s degree, but workers earn 45% higher than average hourly wages.

“With 7% of the New York City workforce, this study shows definitively that tech is a critical component of New York’s vibrant and diverse economy,” said Kate Wittels. “The spectrum of tech-related occupations – from programmers to sales reps – is creating well-paying and quality jobs for New Yorkers at all levels of educational attainment. Fostering the growth of the New York tech ecosystem will increase economic opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

“ABNY is proud to have coordinated this group to reimagine the way the tech sector is measured to better capture the strength and diversity of New York City’s economy and the outsized impact tech is having on our city,” said Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. “The study makes it abundantly clear that the New York City tech ecosystem is a major economic driver for the city, and that it generates opportunity for all New Yorkers. We need to continue building these opportunities for the city and its people by expanding tech educational programs, investing in tech infrastructure and spaces for startups, and promoting New York City as a tech hub to attract more workers and companies.”

"This groundbreaking study confirms once and for all that technology can no longer simply be considered just 'a slice' of the economic pie, but rather 'the pan' that is supporting the dramatic and dynamic transformation of all of New York City's core industries as they fight to compete in the hyper-connected 21st century global economy," said Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of the 38,000-member NY Tech Meetup. "We hope that the findings of this report will help policy makers understand why technologically-driven innovation and infrastructure are key to the continued growth of New York City and benefit all New Yorkers’ lives."

"As Google New York's first engineer, I have been amazed by the transformation of New York's tech ecosystem over the last decade," said Craig Nevill-Manning, Google Engineering Director. "Its growth and impact on New York's traditional industries, like finance, insurance and advertising, is a testament to the strength of the tech ecosystem. It's the main reason why Google has continued to rapidly expand in the city – a strong tech economy creates a virtuous cycle that attracts more talent and makes companies like ours grow."

“In one sense, we shouldn’t think about tech as a separate sector,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and a former New York City Deputy Mayor. “Tech jobs are infused throughout New York City’s diverse economy, from financial services and media to retail and fashion, enabling these sectors to reach consumers who are more digitally connected than ever before.”

The study’s findings:

  • SIZE: The New York City tech ecosystem includes 291,000 jobs that are enabled by, produce, or facilitate technology. Tech industries generate 58,000 tech jobs (e.g. a programmer at Google) and 83,000 non-tech jobs (e.g. a sales rep at Etsy), while non-tech industries generate 150,000 tech jobs (e.g. a web developer at Citi). In total, New York City’s tech ecosystem employs 291,000 people or 7% of the 4.27 million people working in New York City. To put this figure into context, the retail sector employs 354,000 people or 8% of total workers, while healthcare employs 665,000 people or 16% of total workers.
  • GROWTH: From 2003 to 2013, the New York City tech ecosystem added 45,000 jobs, growing faster than both total New York City employment and total U.S. employment. The New York City tech ecosystem grew from 246,000 jobs to 291,000 jobs, an increase of 18%. In comparison, over the same period, employment increased by 12% in New York City and 4% nationally.
  • ECONOMIC IMPACT: The New York City tech ecosystem generates approximately 541,000 jobs, $50.6 billion in annual compensation, and $124.7 billion in annual output. Of the 541,000 total jobs, 291,000 are direct, and 250,000 jobs are generated through multiplier effects. Together they comprise 12.6% of New York City’s total workforce.
  • TAX REVENUE: The New York City tech ecosystem generates over $5.6 billion in annual tax revenues to the City, representing 12.3% of the City’s 2013 tax revenue. $2.5 billion comes from property taxes, $1.3 billion from personal income taxes, $0.9 billion from sales and use taxes, and $0.9 billion from corporation and business income taxes.
  • EDUCATION: The New York City tech ecosystem includes more than just highly-educated workers – up to 44% of jobs in the New York City tech ecosystem do not require a Bachelor’s degree. 128,000 jobs in the tech ecosystem do not require a Bachelor’s degree, with 11,600 of those being tech jobs in tech industries.
  • COMPENSATION: Workers in the New York City tech ecosystem earn 49% more than the average City-wide hourly wage. The hourly wage for the tech ecosystem is $39.50, while the average City-wide wage is $26.50.
  • Jobs in the New York City tech ecosystem that do not require Bachelor’s degrees pay 45% more in hourly wages than jobs with the same educational requirements in other industries. Tech ecosystem jobs that do not require a Bachelor’s degree pay $27.75 per hour, while the average City-wide hourly wage for a job with the same educational attainment requirement is $19.00 per hour.

The study’s authors recommend specific public policies to foster growth:

  • Education and Workforce

Create continuing education and workforce development programs that provide training for the required skills of growing tech occupations. Continue to support the technical programs of existing NYC-based universities and educational institutions. Expand efforts to incorporate computer literacy and other technical curricula into the New York City primary education system.

  • Real Estate and Infrastructure

Create and expand tech hubs that centralize goods, supportive services and other resources critical to tech firms. Provide low-cost, flexible spaces for startups and business incubation, including critical step-up space to support new companies as they grow. Invest in state of the art infrastructure to enable the productivity of tech firms and workers across New York City.

  • Attraction and Retention

Promote New York City as a hub of commerce and innovation and centralize and coordinate New York City’s existing and impactful tech-oriented programs and services.

About HR&A Advisors, Inc.

HR&A Advisors, Inc. is an industry leading real estate, economic development and energy-efficiency advisory firm with offices in New York City, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. We have provided strategic advisory services for some of the most complex mixed-use, neighborhood, downtown, campus, and regional development projects across North America and abroad for over thirty years. In New York, the firm has studied the economic impacts of Times Square, the High Line, the New York State Film Production Credit, and the New York State affordable housing industry.

The firm also has significant experience developing strategies to grow New York City’s tech ecosystem, having served as program manager for NYCEDC's Take the H.E.L.M. competition to attract creative economy tenants to Lower Manhattan, program manager for NYCEDC’s NYC BigApps 2014 competition to facilitate the creation of mobile and web applications that leverage City data to solve civic issues, and economic advisor for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle plan to enhance downtown Brooklyn’s tech sector.

About ABNY

For over 30 years, ABNY has worked as a catalyst to bring business, political, labor, and non-profit leaders together to address problems facing the economic and social well-being of the city.

With more than 300 member organizations from all sectors of New York City, ABNY incorporates a comprehensive and diverse view of the issues and challenges facing New York City. ABNY’s members work as catalysts to contribute fresh ideas and innovative plans that set a clean course for managing solutions to the city’s challenges.

ABNY provides forums and programs, conducts and commissions studies on New York City’s economy, tech sector, jobs and infrastructure, as well as makes policy recommendations to build a better New York. www.abny.org

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About Google

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google has more than 3500 employees in its Chelsea office at 111 Eighth Ave. For more information, visit www.google.com/about.html.

About NY Tech Meetup (NYTM)

Founded in 2004 by meetup.com founder Scott Heiferman and co-founded by Dawn Barber, and now led by Executive Director Jessica Lawrence, the NY Tech Meetup is the world’s largest meetup group with over 38,000 members, and is a non-profit organization representing professionals from all parts of the New York technology community. NYTM builds programs and partnerships to support the growth and diversification of the city’s technology industry and hosts a perennially sold-out monthly event where members gather to watch emerging companies demo new ideas, hear leading-edge thinking on technology topics, and build their networks to develop their businesses. NYTM has been integral in the birth of New York’s new Silicon Alley, with nearly every notable new company, including Foursquare and Tumblr, making their debut at a NYTM demo. NYTM is a not-for-profit, community-led organization. Its Board President is Nate Westheimer and Chair of the Board is Andrew Rasiej. www.nytm.org.

To read the report, go to www.nyctecheconomy.com
To join the conversation, use #nyctecheconomy

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