New York City: Bigger than Ever, By the Numbers

We live in the biggest city in North America and one of the largest metropolises in the world. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of life that we fail to realize just how special New York City really is. So I thought this week I would provide some perspective.

  1. Gross City Product: The total output of the New York City metro area economy is estimated by Moody’s Analytics at $784 billion. If New York City was a country it would have the 17th largest economy in the world.
  2. Employment: There are currently approximately 3.95 million people working on payrolls in the five boroughs of New York City, which is a record high. That’s more people than work in most states. In fact, NYC employs more people than 39 of the 50 states.
  3. Cushman & Wakefield tracks approximately 393 million square feet of office space in Manhattan. The total square footage for the six largest cities in Canada and their suburban markets is 418 million square feet. In other words, the Manhattan office market is almost as large as the office market in all of Canada.
  4. The New York City economy is 30 percent more productive than the U.S. as a whole. NYC produces 5.2 percent of the output of the nation with 4 percent of the workers.
  5. New York City is a hub of education. According to there are approximately 500,000 higher education students enrolled in New York City institutions. That’s larger than the population of Tucson, Arizona.

This is an ever-changing and evolving city as well. In the 1960s and earlier, manufacturing was a major part of the New York City economy, particularly the garment industry and the printing and publishing industry. In 1960 there were approximately 960,000 manufacturing jobs in the city and they accounted for nearly 27 percent of all jobs.

As recently as 1990, manufacturing industries accounted for 275,000 jobs and 7.7 percent of all jobs in the city. Today there are fewer than 75,000 manufacturing jobs in New York City and they represent only 1.9 percent of all the jobs in the city.

What has replaced manufacturing? The knowledge economy and the service economy. The growth sectors in the city today are: Education and Healthcare (up 310,000 jobs or 65 percent since 1990); Professional and Business Services (up 153,000 or 33 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality (up 145,000 or 66 percent).

In today’s New York, technology and tourism are key drivers along with financial services. Rest assured, 20 years from now another industry or industries will be driving growth in our dynamic city.

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