Is New York good for tech jobs?

Is New York good for tech jobs?

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1 February 2024

When picturing the Big Apple, iconic images of Wall Street, Fashion Week, or the bustling newsrooms of the New York Times often come to mind. However, in recent years, the city has been orchestrating a different kind of transformation—one that positions it as a burgeoning tech hub, standing tall among the top tech cities in the United States.

Tech enthusiasts and industry experts have witnessed a remarkable surge in New York City’s tech landscape. With a mix of big established companies and over 25,000 startups, the NYC tech sector is valued at over $189 billion

Factors such as a surge in venture capital, the influx of major tech corporations, a substantial rise in total wages over the last five years, and other variables have propelled the city into the echelons of the most significant tech hubs worldwide. Here, we delve into the distinct strengths that set the ‘city that never sleeps’ apart.

A growing sector

A thriving metropolis: NYC's skyline symbolizes the profitable and growing tech sector.

Despite the challenges of recent years, New York City’s tech sector has demonstrated sustained growth, making it a standout player in the nation’s tech landscape. According to a report from Built in NYC, the tech industry contributed a staggering $247 billion to the city’s economy in 2022. Notably, Manhattan and Brooklyn experienced remarkable tech employment growth rates of 36.2% and 42.6%, respectively. 

New York City has also outperformed most other areas in the US, such as Seattle, Austin, and Raleigh, in terms of job growth over the past couple of business cycles, with a striking 160% increase in tech industry employment across the five boroughs. 

Despite an initial slump during the early days of the pandemic, the tech sector rebounded robustly in 2021, surging 17% beyond pre-pandemic levels by early 2023. Since 2010, the city’s tech sector has added an impressive 114,000 jobs, accounting for 17% of the overall job growth during this period. 


A city for startups

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The vibrancy of New York City’s tech ecosystem is further underscored by the remarkable surge in tech startups. As of May 2023, Manhattan has the most early-stage startups in the nation, edging out San Francisco, the longstanding leader in startup activity. According to data from firm Carta, as reported in Crain’s NY, Manhattan is home to 543 companies that raised a seed or series A round between March 2022 and March 2023. 

NYC is home to more than 25,000 tech startups, which are supported by a robust ecosystem of over 200 co-working spaces and 100 accelerators and incubators. This surge not only highlights the city’s appeal as a breeding ground for innovation but also signifies a shift in the tech sector’s dynamics. 

Large companies are making themselves at home

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Not only has NYC seen a spike in startups, it also serves as a magnet for some of the nation’s largest tech companies. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, LinkedIn, and Salesforce have substantially expanded their presence in the city, collectively adding thousands of jobs and making significant investments. 

For instance, Google, which had 2,000 employees in 2010, now boasts 11,556 employees in New York. The economic impact of Google’s presence alone is noteworthy, contributing $7.9 billion directly and an additional $5.1 billion indirectly to the city’s economy in 2020. 

The influx of these major tech players brings with it a wealth of resources, leadership, investors, and talent, creating a symbiotic relationship that not only solidifies New York City’s position as a tech hub but also propels economic growth through investments in education, real estate, and community development.


Investors are invested

New York City’s tech landscape is also experiencing an unprecedented surge in venture capital, solidifying its status as one of the most attractive destinations for tech investment. 

The number of New York-based tech investors, including venture capital firms, has witnessed a staggering increase from 621 in 2020 to an impressive 1,790 in 2022. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, venture capital investments in New York’s tech firms reached a remarkable $55 billion in 2020, marking a 132 percent increase from 2015 and positioning the city as the second-largest recipient of VC funding, following the San Francisco Bay Area. 

In 2023, there was a sustained decrease in venture fundraising in New York, aligning with the broader trend and reverting to levels seen in 2020 in terms of both deal count and total capital invested. New York-based startups secured a sum of $10.7 billion through 812 deals.


A well-paying industry

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The tech sector’s meteoric rise in New York City is not only reshaping the skyline but also transforming the city’s economic landscape. According to the Office of New York State Comptroller, total wages in the tech sector witnessed an impressive surge, more than doubling by 108% from 2016 to 2021. This influx of educated and experienced professionals has sparked the great NYC tech rush, as individuals seek to be part of the dynamic and ever-evolving tech landscape that distinguishes the city as a prime workplace destination. As of 2023, New York City tech workers are making $100K more than Wall Streeters

The tech sector has also become a cornerstone for generating new middle- and high-wage jobs, a crucial development in a decade where New York City added more jobs paying less than $50,000 annually than those paying over $80,000 annually. In contrast, the tech sector’s contribution of 114,000 well-paying jobs since 2010 stands out, surpassing the growth of other industries traditionally known for creating well-paid jobs, including healthcare, construction, securities, law, and manufacturing. 


A diverse workforce

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In terms of workforce diversity, New York’s tech sector exhibits a more inclusive profile compared to other major tech hubs. NYC is home to over 3 million immigrants speaking over 200 languages, who make up more than 40% of the city’s workforce. Black and Latinx workers make up 20% of NYC’s tech talent, twice as many as that of the Bay Area or Boston.

Despite these advancements, achieving true equity remains an ongoing challenge, as Black and Hispanic workers, constituting 43% of the overall workforce, hold only one-fifth of tech sector jobs. Additionally, men occupy three-quarters of the city’s tech jobs, highlighting the need for continued efforts to create a more balanced and representative tech ecosystem in New York City.