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New York City is in many ways the economic capital of the world. In terms of single metropolitan areas, it is the most influential market in the country as companies all around the nation and the world have made their headquarters—or major centers of operation—in the city.

Nearly all these cardinal industries have large office complexes and facilities, employing literally millions of workers in varying capacities. From Wall Street to Madison Avenue, there is no shortage of office buildings where some of the highest-paid and prestigious professionals in their fields conduct their day-to-day.

As such, New York City has become one of the most influential economic hubs in the world. The state alone would have about the 15th largest economy were it a separate country, and much of that wealth and economic activity is centered in the NYC metro area.

We’ve put together a list of the largest industries in New York City below, outlining how the city is in many ways the center of these industries.

Top Industries in New York City

  1. Finance
  2. Trade
  3. Healthcare
  4. Real Estate
  5. Media
  6. Publishing
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Information Technology

1.   Finance

New York City is undoubtedly the finance capital of the world. With NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange—and an almost unending list of banking institutions based here—the finance industry in New York generates over $1 trillion in value every year. Overall in the United States, the finance industry has grown by almost $2 trillion between 2008 and 2017, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Among the heavy-hitting banks based in the city are the Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Bank of United States. Whether you already hold an office in the city, or are looking to hit the center of the finance world, this is the place to be.

NOTE: See how research demonstrates the importance of the finance industry in New York City here.

2.   Trade

International trade finds its heart in New York City. Scores of foreign companies have offices in the city, meaning money from all over the world passes through here. For people interested in international business, New York is the destination.

For instance, Deutsche Bank (Germany), Mizuho Bank (Japan), and Bank of China (China) all have stakes in the city measuring in the hundreds of billions.

NOTE: If you are interested in learning about stock trading, see our post about the top stock trading schools in the area here.

3.   Health Care

Almost a third of all hospitals in New York State are based in New York City. With over half a million city residents employed in the healthcare industry, this business has major stakes in the city.

Much of the healthcare industry in New York City is based around biomedical research and medical services. Second to Boston, New York City medical institutions receive a huge amount of funding from the National Institutes of Health, a national organization.

With over 60,000 physicians and approximately 130 Nobel Laureates involved in New York City-based medical institutions, the city has become one of the global centers for health care.

4.   Real Estate

It’s no secret that New York City real estate is true prime-time. With some of the most expensive square-foot pricing in the world, a huge sector of the real estate market is dedicated to high-end price brackets.

New York City recently set a new record for property valuation, reaching over $1 trillion for fiscal 2017. Along with that wide-spread gentrification—does anyone remember Harlem in the 1970’s?—the real estate market through all of the city’s boroughs has exploded in recent decades.

NOTE: This study from the Office of Housing and Urban Development in 2015 gives a great picture of how robust the real estate market in New York City really is – see the report here.

5.   Mass Media

Big-time media, from television and radio to online publications, call New York City home. HBO, Bloomberg LP, NBC, and scores of others have been mainstays in the city for decades, making the status of New York City being a media capital in most cases deserved.

To put it into perspective, seven percent of television-watching households are located in New York City. As both a source of talent and business, New York City takes the cake.

6.   Journalism and Publishing

The New York Times. The New Yorker. TIME. Reader’s Digest. Almost any heavy hitter in terms of journalism and publishing companies have their heart in the Big Apple. Many of these publications are iconic examples of greatness in this field, making the prime equation for success—(expert talent) + (capital resources)—a way of life.

With new, integrated forms of digital media being pioneered by many of these companies, it’s no surprise that New York City is the place to be for companies that can perfect the above formula.

7.   Manufacturing

While manufacturing of goods is floundering across the United States, many producers are still operating in New York City. Processed foods, apparel, chemicals, and dozens of other product types have manufacturing bases located in the Big Apple.

A major source of jobs and growth—small boutique shops like Dynotex are springing up all over—have brought a revival of manufacturing to New York City which, like much of the rest of the country, has seen industry flight in the past few decades. With a promising future, manufacturing definitely stands as one of the major industries of New York City.

8.   Information Technology

Silicon Alley, buried in the heart of Manhattan, is home to some of the most promising and largest digital media, data security, software development, and game design corporations in recent decades.

To put it into perspective, Google moved into an over 300,000 square foot space in Manhattan, and in the first half of 2014 over $2 billion in venture capital was raised by information technology companies in the city.


Are you looking to move your company to New York City to take advantage of these well-established or burgeoning industries? Take a look at what we offer to outfit your new office space today.

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