new yorks economy

New York’s Economy: What Is Propelling Growth and Contributing to Its GDP?

Have you ever thought of what drives the third-largest economy in the United States? 

The sheer size of New York’s economy makes it rank as the 15th largest economy in the world, had it been a country. Is it the presence of five boroughs, namely Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island? 

The diversity of the area stretching over 780 square kilometers reflects in the culture, food habits, and weather conditions. Brooklyn weather exhibits humid and warm summers, windy and cold winters, and partly cloudy and wet conditions round the year. While if you check it for Manhattan, you see the presence of micro-climates that change from block to block. 

New York City, the signature metropolitan center, is the hub for finance, banking, and communication in the U.S. The other sectors like technology, manufacturing, and shipping ports are also thriving. We try to look at the reasons behind this phenomenon through this article.


Wall Street in Manhattan is synonymous with financial services. NYSE or New York Stock Exchange is one of the most influential stock exchanges in the world. Though this does not contribute significantly to the total productive wealth or employment of the area, experts often cite it as a major propeller of the economy. 

Financial professionals clock four times the average salary of common New Yorkers, making it the most sought-after and lucrative job. However, the financial services are mostly concentrated in New York City. Downtown New York creates ninety percent of the commodities, securities, or other market jobs.

Outside the boundaries of NYC, these jobs are mostly located in the Hudson Valley region or Long Island. Approximately three hundred thousand people are working in financial services in New York. 

Professional Services

Professional and technical service workers account for around four hundred thousand New Yorkers. These can include marketers, lawyers, mechanics, and accountants. 

These professional groups have common characteristics. They act as ancillary service providers who help drive the notable businesses in the area. This particular position of theirs makes them highly sensitive to the economic cycles. 

The yardstick for success in these services is the level of support that they cater to the other industries. The scientific, professional, and technical services group is the only notable industry to showcase:

  • A rapid job growth rate vis-a-vis the average rates
  • A higher salary growth rate than the average rates
  • Higher weekly wage compared to the state average

Health Care

There is a high demand for healthcare services in New York to support its nearly twenty million population. The number of workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the highest compared to other industries. 

The Labour Department anticipates further growth in the coming days. A key area of concern is the wages of the health care staff as it is below the state averages. 

The industry does not exhibit a cyclical influence on the economy like the financial sector. Therefore even though large NYC health care companies made huge profits aided by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, it did not percolate downwards.

Several Private and Government Community Health care programs drive the healthcare industry in New York.

Retail Trade 

The sub-sectors like food and beverage, auto retailers, electronics retailers, clothing retailers, etc all form the retail trade industry. The New York retail industry sets the trends for the national industry similar to manufacturing and finance industries.

The number of employment generated by this sector is approximately one million. The jobs spread across the various boroughs of New York, particularly in Jefferson County and Manhattan.

This industry gets a lot of influence due to the economic recession barring the food and beverage sector. It is also an ancillary or a supplemental service that does not directly move the nuts and bolts of the New York economy.


New York sees many export opportunities spanning across railroad rolling stocks, garments, glass, elevator parts, etc. The reasons for the same have historical as well as cultural influence. 

There is a rapid rise in technical manufacturing recently. It includes computer products, software engineering tools, mobile devices, 3-D printing, and video games. Staten Island and east of Newark are the manufacturing hub of New York. The satisfactory aspect is that the jobs are paying above the average state wages.

Hence several industries contribute either directly or indirectly to the booming economy of New York. While the above industries have a significant impact and influence, you should not also miss the education sector which is fast coming up.

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