Technology advances and startups within New York City’s Silicon Alley have created thousands of tech jobs in the city over a very short period of time. Accurately counting these tech jobs is no easy task since “tech” isn’t an official industry sector. A recent study prepared for the Bloomberg Technology Summit estimated that there were 262,000 workers within New York City’s “Tech/Information” sector, but as technology-focused venture capitalist Fred Wilson highlights in his recent blog post, it’s hard to say whether some of the companies included should be considered true tech companies.
For the NYC Jobs Blueprint, The Partnership for New York City worked with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to analyze the number of high-tech jobs in the city by identifying the industries that best represent “high-tech” businesses. By our definition, someone working at an IT help desk, for example, would not be considered a high-tech employee, but a software developer would be. Using this approach, high-tech was one of the fastest growing sectors in the city’s economy in terms of GDP, averaging 5.3% annual growth over the decade to reach $27 billion in economic activity while employing 98,000 people.
We decided to take this work a step further and for the first time, try to identify how many jobs require advanced tech skills across all industries in New York. To do this, we looked at tech related occupations and their job descriptions, rather than industries. We estimated that New York City has 150,000 tech jobs, across all sectors, with an average (weighted) annual wage of $96,400. This includes people working across all sectors, but only captures those whose core job function requires tech skills.
No analysis like this is perfect, but for the first time we’re counting tech jobs in all sectors, as Fred recommended in his post. Businesses within the city’s legacy industries - finance, media, retail, and professional services – now use a wide range of technologies in fields such as financial technology, health information technology, and big data marketing. This is our future.