New York City Tech Ecosystem Study

After analyzing the size and complexity of the Tech Ecosystem in New York City, HR&A found that it employs hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, pays higher-than average wages, and is highly accessible to workers without a four-year degree.

HR&A worked with a consortium of tech and civic organizations including Association for a Better New York, Google, Citigroup, and New York Tech Meetup, to assess the tech industry in New York City. After reviewing the methodologies used to define tech in prior studies, HR&A held working sessions with representatives from New York-based firms, institutions, and organizations such as Control Group, New York University, and the Center for an Urban Future to develop a working definition for the tech ecosystem that is inclusive of macroeconomic characteristics present in New York City.

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This working definition for the “Tech Ecosystem” divided tech into three broad categories

 

HR&A used this working definition to estimate the number and distribution by occupation and firm type of tech ecosystem jobs, and to model and evaluate the ecosystem’s economic and fiscal impact to the City.

With this understanding, we determined that in 2013 the tech ecosystem employed almost 300,000 New Yorkers. Additionally, the economic activity engendered by these direct jobs supports an additional 250,000 jobs throughout the City’s economy, generates $125 billion in total spending, and creates over $5.6 billion in annual tax revenues. Through our work, we found that employment in the city’s tech ecosystem has grown significantly faster in the last decade than employment Citywide (18% vs. 12%).

 

Among the study’s key findings was that jobs in the tech ecosystem were accessible to those without a four-year degree, and that jobs tended to pay higher-than-average wages: Up to 44% of tech ecosystem jobs are available to workers without a bachelor’s degree, and tech ecosystem jobs pay an average hourly wage nearly 50% higher than the average for all industries. Based on these findings and a series of case studies covering a range of tech ecosystem employers, we developed policy recommendations addressing various strategies for sustaining the growth of New York City’s tech ecosystem.

 

The study’s findings and recommendations were compiled into a report, which was unveiled by New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen. The study has been adopted by the de Blasio administration to help ensure that the tech community is part of the city’s economic development agenda. The job and economic impact numbers outlined in the tech report are routinely used by the administration and a number of the report recommendations are being transformed into citywide programs and policies. The study’s findings were reported in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Bloomberg.

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