Exploring business in New York City

New York City stands as a hub of industry within the United States and throughout the world

Written by: Marcus Kääpä


The United States makes up over 15 percent of the entire global economy.

It is home to a multitude of cities that house industry leaders and international companies providing a substantial percentage of its national revenue. New York City is one such place.

The state of New York itself has in total the third-largest economy in the US, with only Texas and California ahead of it. Its economy is so huge in fact, that if the state was its own country, New York’s economy could potentially rank around 15th or 16th largest in the world.

The state is home to a population of 20.3 million people, and its largest industries include: finance, healthcare, technology, retail, manufacturing, publishing, education services, food and beverage. Companies such as PepsiCo, JPMorgan Chase, and Pfizer are just a few giants to name.

The economy of New York is the largest regional economy in the US. Wall Street, a household name around the world in association to business, trade and wealth, has been the anchor through which New York has gained its deserved reputation as the world’s premier financial center.

New York City is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, that are not only both the largest stock exchanges by market capitalization, but also trading activity on the whole. In 2012 alone, the area produced a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of over $1.33 trillion, ranked first nationally by a large margin. This substantial number equates roughly to that of South Korea’s GDP in the same year, with New York City’s population being below half that of the country. At this level, New York City’s economy accounts for the majority of economic activity in the states of New York and New Jersey combined.

Manhattan, the international leader in banking and finance, is home to the NYSE founded in 1817 on Wall Street. The finance sector in New York is well-known for its lucrative opportunities, with financial professionals earning on average four times more than the average worker elsewhere in the city. Financial services are highly concentrated in New York City. According to the New York Bureau of Labor Market Information, more than 90 percent of jobs in securities, commodities and other investments are located in downtown New York City. In total, there are over 330,000 financial services workers in the state.

As New York is home to approximately 20 million individuals, over a third of which are urban dwellers, there is a great demand for healthcare services across the region. According to the New York Department of Labor, there are more employees in the “Healthcare and Social Assistance” industry than any other.

The city is home to the largest healthcare system in the US, including world-class private medical centers, and an advanced healthcare research and development sector. Healthcare is vital to the city’s economy and the livelihoods of all those who live in New York City. Despite this, in this most critical sector, the average income of workers drops below the state’s average pay.

The professional and technical services are another area pushed to the fore as one of New York’s primary sectors. In 2018, according to the New York Bureau of Labor, there were an estimated 403,200 individuals working in the professional and technical services. This includes lawyers, accountants, marketeers, and mechanics among many others who share the field.

These key professionals keep businesses running in supplementary roles in every sector across the board. In this way, they are subject to the fluctuating state of the industries in which they practice, at the same time as providing necessary services in multiple areas.

New York’s retail space is huge. The sector includes a multitude of subsidiaries such as food and beverage, clothing, electronics, and vehicle retailers, with famous Fifth Avenue springing to mind when thinking of the New York high street. With the best part of one million retail workers, New York’s retail businesses are spread throughout New York City, particularly in Manhattan and Jefferson County.

New York’s manufacturing sphere sees the state export a wide variety of goods both domestically and abroad. The city’s sector is a leader in railroad rolling stock with a historic link to many of the earliest US railroads having been financed by New York. Manufacturing also cover’s New York City’s fashion industry, of which it is the capital in the US, as well as technical manufacturing, including computer and mobile products, video games, and general software engineering tools.

Despite the term “industry” often not relating to the education sector, it remains a large part of New York’s growth and attraction towards gaining industry talent for the state. Institutions such as Columbia University, New York University, Barnard College, and the Webb Institute each stand out as just some of the establishments that help teach, train, and develop individuals for careers in varying industries in the US and beyond. Teachers, professors, tutors, educational agencies, and a host of other educational employees form the base of New York’s impressive industries through quality courses that lead aspirants into future roles in such sectors.

New York City itself remains a central hub of progression and economic strength for the entirety of the US. A home to many industries, it is an internationally influential city and hosts a broad spectrum of necessary sectors making it a key contributor to the nation’s GDP.