Written by: Daniel Haurey on 04/19/23

In 2020, New York City had the second highest single-city GDP (GMP) in the world after Tokyo. With a workforce that includes 8.468 million people, it’s no wonder NYC has so much income each year. The biggest industries in New York City are also a huge part of this picture.

New York’s top industries drive more than just the city’s GMP. It alone is worth 8% of the United States’ total economy. In fact, NYC’s individual GMP is almost equal to Canada’s and South Korea’s entire national GDP.

New Yorkers work in all kinds of industries and all play an important role. However, this article will take a look at five of the top New York City industries and their role in the city’s massive GMP.

1. Finance

You can’t talk about NYC’s economy without talking about Wall Street. As a giant part ofManhattan’s famous financial sector , Wall Street isn’t New York’s biggest employer, but it is the biggest money maker. DiNapoli estimates that the stock exchange was worth 22% of NYC’s total tax revenue in the 2022 fiscal year.

Recently, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) proposed heightened cybersecurity measures for the city’s financial sector. Wall Street’s fame has made NYC financial businesses particularly attractive to hackers. Cybersecurity services in New York City are ready to help financial workers navigate this landscape.

Off Wall Street, NYC’s financial services sector  thrives. In fact, the city employs 330,000 financial service workers and more than  200 venture capital investors. 

2. Life Sciences

New York City has the nation’s largest bioscience workforce. This includes healthcare, research, and medical services. Not only are life sciences a significant employer for New York residents, the city’s industry has also produced globally renowned breakthroughs, firms, and Nobel laureates.

The city’s innovative research facilities are also attracting leading investors. Several major institutions, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, push boundaries as part of the global medical research race. Investors have taken notice and pour revenue into the NYC medical research scene

NYC’s municipal government intends to keep this trend strong and establish New York as a global leader in medical innovation. The LifeSci NYC program is a $1 billion initiative for students and incoming talent that aims to create 40,000 new medical jobs in the city.

Healthcare leverages a wide range of high tech. More providers are trusting IT experts who can help them manage technology changes while keeping patient data secure.

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3. Real Estate

New York City’s real estate industry has historically been a major driver of the city’s economic growth. Currently, the city’s properties are worth a combined $1.3 trillion. There are also more than  34,000 real estate agents in the city and thousands of others employed in related industries like construction, architecture, and property management.

The industry’s impact extends to other sectors. For example, some of NYC’s most famous landmarks are buildings (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, etc.). In this sense, New York’s real estate is also a driving force in the local tourism sector.

4. Retail

Tourism is a big part of the New York economy and perhaps worth an “honorable mention” on this list. However, alongside famous landmarks and Broadway, one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions is  shopping.

Fifth Avenue is a global epicenter for luxury goods and the most expensive shopping district in the world. Famous fashion retailers such as Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Macy’s, and Prada draw shoppers from across the country and around the globe. 

Whether on Fifth Avenue or not, NYC’s retail industry employs more than  350,000 workers and generates $55 billion in taxable sales annually.

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5. Manufacturing

In 2020, NYC’s manufacturing sector generated $61 billion and there are more than 233,000 manufacturing jobs in the city. Processed foods, metals, textiles, and plastics are the biggest sectors in the city’s manufacturing industry. 

More recently, New York City has seen a significant rise in tech and advanced manufacturing – particularly biotech, nanotechnology, and clean energy. This is being supported by the city’s investments in research and development, as well as growth in its startup ecosystem.

American manufacturing is increasingly digital as part of efforts to reshore manufacturing to the United States, and NYC’s sector follows suit. The rapidly changing work environment presents both challenges and opportunities for those who work in the industry. 

New York manufacturers and tech firms are collaborating to face this challenge and grow both of their respective industries.

New York’s state GDP, according to the State Controller. The city reflects some of the state’s averages while differing in others. 

Managed IT Services Propel All of New York City’s Top Industries Forward

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