When you think of the tech industry, you probably imagine the sunny skies of Silicon Valley. And when you think of New York City, you probably think of Wall Street, Broadway, high fashion, or Friends (or any other TV show ever made).
But do you ever put tech and New York City together? No? Well, you should.
Using Emsi data, HR&A Advisors discovered in a recent study that tech is kind of a big deal in New York City. It’s quickly taking over the concrete jungle as industry juggernauts like Google, Facebook, WeWork, and Amazon move in and expand. In addition to the big names, nearly 10,000 tech startups have moved in like hot dog carts. In fact, since 2010, tech companies have bought or leased over nine million square feet of space. That’s about two Mall of Americas.
Defining the Tech Ecosystem
HR&A refers to this phenomenon as the growth of the “tech ecosystem.” In its study, HR&A broadened the scope and defined tech jobs as “1) any occupation within industries that produce tech or are enabled by it, and 2) any occupation that produces tech or facilitates its use (e.g. a systems analyst for a global media company).” The tech scene goes beyond just tech companies because these days just about every industry involves tech.
With that in mind, HR&A used Emsi staffing pattern data to break New York City’s tech ecosystem into three groups: tech occupations in tech industries, tech occupations in non-tech industries, and non-tech occupations in tech industries.
In a recent update to the original study, HR&A Advisors found that the tech ecosystem has grown 30% since 2006. It now employs 326,000 people across a wide variety of occupations and employers. This is, in large part, due to the constant pool of new graduates coming from New York City’s 120-plus universities. Not to mention, New York City is home to many other major industries, including health care, finance, arts, retail, government, etc. All of them have evolved to include technology in some way.
“Tech jobs are not limited to a specific sector, but rather they appear throughout the economy. The underlying strengths of the New York economy drive the city’s tech ecosystem growth, creating economic opportunities for all New Yorkers,” said HR&A partner Kate Wittels.
Making Major City Decisions with Data
Like any ecosystem, New York City’s tech ecosystem is diverse and interconnected. Treating it as such provides a more complete story of the Big Apple as a burgeoning tech hub. Emsi’s data showed that New York City’s tech industries include many growing sectors that are relevant to core business within tech. For example, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing grew 1,142% between 2006-2016.
Emsi’s data also showed that New York City tech industries have added 14,350 software engineering jobs in the last decade. Non-tech industries added 2,400. Clearly, New York City is seeing a massive increase in tech-related jobs and luckily, has the diverse, talent-rich population to support it.
Armed with this knowledge, city leadership has successfully partnered with companies like LinkNYC and Plus Pool to modernize public spaces and services and generate revenue. HR&A recommended that New York City make a few more adjustments to continue fostering this expanding ecosystem. Suggestions included ensuring affordable housing for tech workers and their families, offering low-cost and flexible office spaces for start-ups, integrating more computer literacy and technical curricula in schools, and investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure.
With these changes, the city that never sleeps is sure to continue its technological climb.