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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli High-Tech is on the Rise in NYC

Soaring Silicon Alley Boasts More Than 100,000 Jobs and an Average Annual Salary of $118,000

April 28, 2014

High-tech is one of the fastest growing industries in New York City, growing four times faster than the rate of job growth in the rest of the city’s economy, with annual salaries that are well above the citywide average, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“High-tech firms not only created 25,000 jobs over the last four years, they created high-paying jobs,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “Silicon Alley now stretches from Midtown South to Lower Manhattan and into Brooklyn and Queens. New York City is attracting tech firms because of its unmatched quality of life, its large creative workforce, its investment opportunities, and its public commitment to fostering a tech training ground through education and university partnerships. We’re proud that our Common Retirement Fund’s In-State Program has helped many new high-tech firms get off the ground in New York, while providing strong investment returns.”

“I applaud New York State Comptroller DiNapoli for producing this report highlighting New York City’s growing high-tech industry, one of our city’s most vibrant and vital industries,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Investments in the New York City tech sector, like the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s, help create jobs across industries in all five boroughs. New York City has emerged as a global center for innovation and my administration is committed to leveraging all of our resources effectively so that technology companies start and thrive here.”

The Comptroller’s report focused on high-tech companies at the heart of the technology industry that design, manufacture, develop or maintain new technologies. New York City was home to nearly 7,000 such firms by the third quarter of 2013, which provided more than 103,000 jobs.

The high-tech industry is creating well-paying jobs at a time when other traditional well-paying industries are not growing as quickly. This diversifies the city’s economy and helps to reduce its economic dependence on Wall Street. Like other industries, the high-tech industry also employs workers in a wide range of job titles, creating employment opportunities for people without technical backgrounds.

These high-tech companies, which range in size from small start-ups to large multinational firms, like Google and Facebook, are forming synergies with traditional industries, helping to stimulate job growth. The report found, for example, that job growth in advertising and public relations has grown by 25 percent in recent years.

“There is literally no better place to create a tech start-up than NYC. Period,” said Ryan Urban, co-founder and CEO of Bounce Exchange, a New York City-based IT firm in which the State Pension Fund has invested. “Access to ridiculous talent, amazing neighborhoods to work, ease of transportation, and the best food in the world. Employee retention is incredible when your company is in a city where everyone enjoys coming to work.”

Comptroller DiNapoli’s report on the high-tech industry determined that:

  • The high-tech industry was one of the fastest growing industries in the city between the third quarters of 2009 and 2013, with a rate of growth (33 percent) that was four times faster than the rate of job growth in the rest of the city’s economy (8 percent);
  • Venture capital firms invested $1.3 billion in 222 high-tech companies in the New York City metropolitan region in 2013;
  • The New York State Common Retirement Fund has invested $122.8 million in 133 tech-related companies in the city between 2007 and 2013. Those investments have realized solid returns and helped create more than 1,300 new jobs;
  • 6,970 high-tech companies accounted for 103,100 jobs during the third quarter of 2013;
  • Employment in the high-tech industry is nearing record levels, having added 25,600 jobs during the past four years of the economic recovery;
  • The average high-tech salary was $118,600 in 2012, which was nearly 50 percent more than the $79,500 average salary for all other jobs in NYC ($65,400 excluding the securities industry);
  • Once clustered exclusively in Manhattan neighborhoods such as Chelsea, the Flatiron District, SoHo and Union Square, the so-called Silicon Alley now reaches into Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Long Island City in Queens.