New York City, NY Economic Overview
New York City is the most populous city in the U.S. and also considered the most densely populated major city in the country. Located at the southern tip of the State of New York, the city is at the heart of the New York metropolitan area. N.Y.C. exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment worldwide. The City is home to the headquarters of the United Nations and acts as an important center for international diplomacy, often described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world. Home to over 8.5 million people, New York City sprawls on a distributed land area of roughly 303 square miles.
Real estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at just over $1 trillion for the 2017 fiscal year, marking an increase of 10.6% from the previous year with 89% of the increase coming from market effects.
New York City, NY Commercial Real Estate Market
During recent years, New York City planners have made a conscientious effort to ramp up the city’s involvement in the technology sector and, ultimately, ensure that both the city and the state at large remain appealing for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses alike.
Home to some of the nation’s most valuable real estate, the NYC office market is now increasingly driven by large tech companies—including technology divisions of the financial industry—primarily in Midtown and Downtown New York. Demand for new construction and strength in the tech sector is expected to drive the future of the market. Additional activity from health care and biotech is expected as these industries have shown recent growth at unprecedented levels.
Downtown and Midtown NYC possesses a total office inventory of 451 million square feet, with a vacancy rate of 10.6%, with most of its concentrated in Midtown.
Midtown Manhattan is both the largest residential and central business district in the U.S. The Midtown Manhattan office market is home to some of the world’s most iconic office buildings, including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and commercial zones, such as the Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the world’s highest retail rents, while Lower Manhattan is the main financial center.
New York City, NY Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 585,879,381 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 35,304,871 SF / 6.03% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 182,076,270 SF / 31.08% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 133,938,231 SF / 22.86% of total office
- > 1M SF: 234,560,009 SF / 40.04% of total office
- Class A+: 140,401,986 SF / 23.96% of total office
- Class A: 238,783,158 SF / 40.76% of total office
- Class B: 170,455,892 SF / 29.09% of total office
- Class C: 10,067,409 SF / 1.72% of total office
Employment in New York City, NY
The financial services sector, a key pillar of economic life in NYC, has regained most of the ground it lost during the latest crisis. While Wall Street represents a strong portion of economic activity in central NYC, it is not the only economic artery of the City, which is a major center for banking and finance, as well as retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, theater, fashion, and the arts. Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing accounts for a significant but declining share of employment, although the city's garment industry is showing a resurgence in Brooklyn. Many Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in New York City, as are a large number of multinational corporations. One out of ten private sector jobs in the city is with a foreign company. In February 2017, New York City's unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, the lowest in the city's recorded history, with the city achieving the status of what many economists refer to as full employment.
Home to a labor force of over 4 million employees, private sector employment continues to surge, growing at 2.8% from 2016. Educational services led job growth for the second month in a row in the summer of 2017, and Transportation and Utilities was the second strongest employment sector, adding 3,800 new jobs in July 2017. Professional and Business Services continues its position as the major employment sector, employing over 750,000 people in July 2017.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the New York statistical area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Education and Health Services—currently employs 2,031,000, growing at 3.4% per year
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities—currently employs 1,566,400, decreasing at 0.3% per year
- Professional & Business Services—currently employs 1,341,800, growing at 3.5% per year
Education in New York City, NY
The New York City Public Schools system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest public-school system in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 separate primary and secondary schools. The city's public-school system includes nine specialized high schools to serve academically and artistically gifted students. There are also approximately 900 additional privately run secular and religious schools in the city.
Over 600,000 students are enrolled in New York City's over 120 higher education institutions, the highest number of any city in the United States, including over half million in the City University of New York (CUNY) system alone. New York City is home to notable private universities as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, Mercy College, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Pace University, and Yeshiva University. The public CUNY system is one of the largest universities in the nation, comprising 24 institutions across all five boroughs: senior colleges, community colleges, and other graduate/professional schools. Much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. New York City has the most post-graduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, boasting over 127 Nobel Laureates.
Commuting Time in New York City, NY
New York City's comprehensive transportation system is both complex and extensive. New York City, being the most populous city in the United States, has a transportation system which includes one of the largest subway systems in the world, the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel, and an aerial tramway. Mass transit in New York City accounts for one in every three users of mass transit in the United States, and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in the New York City Metropolitan Area. Expansive transportation options include:
- The dominant mode of transportation in New York City is by rail. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) runs all of the city’s subways and buses and two of its three commuter rail networks. Subway riders pay with the MetroCard, which is also valid on all other rapid transit systems and buses in the city, as well as the Roosevelt Island tramway.
- The many rail stations include: Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Terminal, Jamaica Station, Atlantic Terminal, and Hoboken Terminal.
- The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) is a rapid transit system that links Manhattan to Jersey City, Hoboken, Harrison and Newark, in New Jersey. A primary transit link between Manhattan and New Jersey, PATH carries 240,000 passengers each weekday on four lines.
- New York City's public bus network is extensive. As of 2014, over 5,710 MTA Regional Bus Operations-operated buses carried about 2.5 million daily passengers 24/7 on more than 238 local routes, 62 express routes, and 7 Select Bus Service routes, amounting to 793 million annual bus trips. Local bus routes are labeled with a number and a prefix identifying the primary borough (B for Brooklyn, Bx for the Bronx, M for Manhattan, Q for Queens, and S for Staten Island).
- Intercity rail service is provided by Amtrak. Fifty-four trains run each day on the busiest route—the Northeast Corridor from New York to Philadelphia. For trips of less than 500 miles (800 km) to other Northeastern cities, Amtrak is often cheaper and faster than air travel. Overnight trains connect New York City with Chicago (where numerous connections are available to the west coast services), Atlanta, New Orleans, and Miami. There are also international daily trains to Toronto and Montreal in Canada, via the Empire Corridor to Albany and points west.
- The busiest ferry in the United States is the Staten Island Ferry, which annually carries over 19 million passengers on the 5.2 mile (8.4 km) run between St. George Ferry Terminal and South Ferry. Service is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and takes approximately 25 minutes each way.
- The city's extensive network of expressways includes four primary Interstate Highways: Interstate 78, Interstate 80, Interstate 87 and Interstate 95.
- New York City's airport system, which includes John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport (located in New Jersey), Stewart Airport and a few smaller facilities, is one of the largest in the world. John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports are served by intermodal rail systems. AirTrain JFK is an 8.1 mi (13 km) rapid transit system that connects 24 hours a day Kennedy to New York's subway and commuter rail network in Queens. It also provides free transit between airport terminals.
- Walk and bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city; nationally the rate for metro regions is about 8%. Citibank sponsored the introduction of 6,000 public bicycles for the city's bike-share project, Citi Bike, in the summer of 2013. By 2017, Citi Bike will expand its operations by 6,000 bikes and add 375 new docking stations.
Employees in New York City face a commute time of 39.2 minutes, which is longer than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers uses transit, followed by those who drive alone and/or walk, or work from home.
New York City Demographics
- Total Population8,581,428
- Male Population(47.7 %) 4,090,435
- Female Population(52.3 %) 4,490,993
- Median Age36.80
- Average Household Income$100,214
- Median Household Income$63,576
- Median Income Under 25$40,230
- Median Income 25-44$70,169
- Median Income 45-64$72,936
- Median Income Over 65$37,596
Residential Rents in New York City, NY
The average rent for an apartment in Manhattan is $3,752, with the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan being Upper West Side ($4,158/month), Civic Center ($4,171/month) and TriBeCa ($4,470/month).
New York City, NY Average Rental Price, April 2019
- $ 3,716/mo
- Studio: $ 2,745
- 1 Bedroom: $ 3,438
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 4,864
New York City, NY Rent Trends
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