New York Economic Overview
With a gross state product of around $1.1 trillion, New York State has the 16th largest economy in the world. Famous as a world financial center, its unique metropolis of New York City plays a crucial role in the state economy. The headquarters of many of the country’s major corporations are in New York City, providing business for advertising agencies, banks, law firms, public-relations firms, and management consultants, in a concentration of business unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Dutch fur traders were the first non-Native Americans to settle in the area in 1624, calling it New Netherland. In 1776, New York became one of the original 13 states, and its economy and industry showed marked growth. By 1810, New York State had more residents than any other state in the Union.
In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed, which brought more commerce to the port of New York and spurred the growth of cities in the state. New York’s natural resources and efficient transport encouraged manufacturing and industrial revenues to surge, and the more successful the state became, the more entrepreneurs were drawn to it.
Immigration swelled the population of the state, until changes in immigration laws choked the flow during the 1920s. Between World War II and the 1980s, the state’s social and educational services increased while industry waned, until New York City almost had to declare bankruptcy in 1975. Following this, efforts were made to broaden the economic base of the state, and the financial services sector and high-tech strengthened the general economy.
New York State ranks in the top five states in the growing of apples, cherries, potatoes, and onions. New York also produces the most cabbage (worth $67.3 million) in the country. Around a quarter of the state is farmland, and agricultural products account for some $3.6 billion annually. New York’s top agricultural product is milk—it is the third-largest producer in the country, with products valued at $1.9 billion. New York ranks second among states in apple growing, with $185 million worth annually, and second for maple syrup production, worth more than $7 million. Vegetables account for $461 million, and grain crops grown for livestock for more than $650 million.
New York ranks third in the country for grape production and is the fourth largest wine producer. More than 30,000 acres of vineyards and 212 wineries flourish in the state, producing a steady supply of more than 200 million bottles of wine annually. The grape and wine industry pours more than $6 billion into the state’s economy yearly.
BANKING AND FINANCE
Since 1792, the New York Stock Exchange has been the center of world finance. The world’s largest stock exchange is housed on New York City's Wall Street, a street virtually synonymous with high finance and economic power. Wall Street profits over the first nine months of 2009 were $50 billion, and the finance sector contributes around 15 percent of New York City’s gross city product.
New York’s media have global influence, through its widely read newspapers, large publishing houses, and major recording companies. More than 200 newspapers are published in the state of New York, including The New York Times, founded in 1851, which has annual revenues of $2.9 billion, 350 staff writers, and more than one million readers.
Reflecting New York’s diverse population, some 270 ethnic newspapers and magazines are published in 40 languages there. Some 80 television stations and more than 525 radio stations broadcast in the "City that Never Sleeps," and seven of the world’s top advertising agencies are located on New York City's famed Madison Avenue. Some 25,000 people are employed in the book publishing industry alone.
Approximately 338,000 construction workers are employed in the Empire State, down from 363,000 in 2008. Their average pay is around $55,900 annually and direct construction spending accounted for 5.5 percent ($60 billion) of the gross state product. Nonresidential spending made up half of that amount. Smaller building projects (under $20 million) have greater chances of being undertaken by non-union contractors.
New York City’s Department of Education is the largest public school system in the world, with more than one million students enrolled in more than 1,450 public schools. The Bronx High School of Science, one of the city's elite specialized schools, has had seven of its graduates win the Nobel Prize, more than any other high school in the world. Hunter College High School sends the highest percentage of graduates to Ivy League schools. In addition, there are some 900 private schools in the city, many of them parochial, whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or Muslim.
With more than 230 colleges and universities, New York State attracts more local college students than any other state. Approximately half a million students are enrolled in more than 100 universities and colleges in New York City alone, a student population higher than any other city in the country. Around 110,000 people are employed in New York City’s higher education sector. The City University of New York (CUNY), with more than 480,000 students, is the third largest university system in the country and boasts more Nobel laureates than any other public university in the world.
The oldest university in New York State is Colombia University, with roughly 26,400 students and an endowment of $5.9 billion. New York University (NYU), a leading research university, is the largest private, not-for-profit university in the country, with around 54,000 students and an endowment of $2.5 billion. With more than 16,000 employees, it is also one of the biggest employers in the city. New York State also has the greatest concentration of yeshivas (school combining Jewish religious education with secular high school curriculum) in the country, as well as Yeshiva University, which has more than 6,400 students and includes among its graduate schools the renowned Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Although New York is the fourth largest energy-consuming state, it is also the second most energy-efficient one. Although possessing 6.4 percent of the country’s population, it consumes 4.1 percent of the energy. Some 27 percent of the electricity that adds so much glitter to the New York City skyline at night is generated by natural gas, followed by nuclear power at 25 percent, and hydroelectric power at 15 percent.
The first hydroelectric generating station to harness the power of Niagara Falls was built in 1881, and it is still a large producer of electricity, with a generating capacity of 25.5 million kilowatt hours. During tourist season, less water is diverted to the electricity plants in order to showcase the sheer power of the falls. Although coal, petroleum, biofuels, and wind contribute toward the generation of electricity in the state, 12 percent of the electricity must be imported from other states. The commercial sector is the largest user of electricity, consuming half of New York’s total, followed by residential customers (34 percent), industry (14 percent), and transportation (2 percent).
New York City has a concentration of world famous art, music, theater, and literary arts unmatched anywhere else in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows, and large publishing houses attract talented artists, actors, and writers. Tourists and residents flock to enjoy the 40 large, professional theaters in New York’s theater district, which sell some $943 million worth of tickets annually.
New York’s film industry ranks second in the country (after California's), with $5 billion in direct expenditures and 100,000 employees. More than 250 studio and independent films are shot in New York annually and more than 33 percent of professional actors in the country are based in New York. Due to New York’s vibrant and exciting city life, it has been used as a setting in hundreds of films since 1908, and there are no fewer than 45 films with the theme of the destruction of New York City. Out of fear that production companies are being lured to Connecticut and Massachusetts, New York is considering increasing its incentives and offering partial rebates for big-ticket production costs, such as the actors’ and directors’ salaries.
Almost 33,000 people are employed by property-casualty insurers in New York, earning annual salaries amounting to $2.9 billion. The insurance companies that do business in New York pay state premium taxes of $1.1 billion annually, as well as other state and local taxes. In 2008, the insurance companies reimbursed auto owners sums totaling $6.1 billion and homeowners received $1.5 billion to cover their losses.
New York’s manufacturing sector is diverse and wide-ranging. Altogether, around 18,800 manufacturers employ a total of around 383,000 workers in the state, which is home to 4.7 percent of the manufacturing plants in the country. The National Association of Manufacturers reports that New York’s manufacturing output is around $69 billion, representing six percent of the gross state product.
The leading manufactured products in New York State are chemicals, food products, and machinery. Although some apparel factories and food processing plants have relocated out of the state (either overseas in order to cut down on labor costs or to other states with lower rent), these sectors still employ around 40,000 workers. Traditionally depending on immigrant labor, the New York garment industry employs many Latinos and Asians. The printing and publishing sector provides jobs for 17 percent of manufacturing workers. Corelle dishes and CorningWare are manufactured in Corning, New York, which also has a glass museum open to the public.
MINING AND EXTRACTION
For the past 150 years, oil and gas have been produced in western New York. The mining industry operates around 2,500 mines in the state, which ranks 16th in the country in value of mineral production. Around 6,300 people are employed in mining in New York, at an average annual salary of $51,000. The total annual payroll is around $320 million, and some $1.3 billion of minerals, metals, and fuels is produced. The state of New York ranks first in wollastonite and garnet, as well as third in the production of salt, which is the state’s second most important nonfuel mined product (crushed stone ranks first). New York’s solution mining wells have been pumping out salt since the 1800s, and salt production is worth approximately $100 million annually.
More than 112,600 nonprofit/tax-exempt organizations operate in New York, whether raising money for the arts, cancer research, or the homeless. Although the per capita income in New York State is $46,364, some residents earn many times this amount, while others are in need. Some 55,470 organizations are classified as charitable organizations, 15,373 are educational, 13,795 are religious, and the rest are business leagues, burial associations, literary organizations, or social welfare organizations. A total of $409 billion in assets is reported by these organizations, along with total annual income of $334 billion.
Not including those working in food stores, there are some 250,000 employees in the retail industry in New York. Although New York is also influenced by the trend toward "big box" stores, it still has a number of independent stores and ethnic stores that cater to their particular immigrant population. Walmart has more than 50 supercenters and 35 discount stores in the state, employing about 37,500 workers. It collects more than $362.9 million in state sales tax annually, and pays more than $86.5 million in corporate taxes.
The New York Police Department employs more than 35,280 police officers, around 4,500 auxiliary police officers, and about 5,150 school safety guards. The country’s oldest police department, it has an annual budget of $3.9 billion. Starting pay is $34,970, but police departments in some counties have higher salaries, ranging from $85,000 to $105,000. Some 11 million emergency 911 calls are received by the New York City Police Department every year. New York State Police has about 5,570 employees and an annual budget of $727 million. The moniker "New York’s Bravest" refers to the Fire Department, City of New York, with around 14,800 firefighters and 3,200 paramedics or EMTs. The fire department has an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion.
New York’s biotechnology industry supports roughly 10,000 jobs, and the state's approximately 300 biotechnology firms generate an estimated $3.4 billion in revenues yearly. Over the past decade, New York’s biotechnology sector has quadrupled. The total impact of the bioscience industry in the Empire State is about $8.5 billion. The bio-pharmaceuticals sector employs around 55,450 workers. Top pharmaceutical companies include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Savage Laboratories. The sector generates revenue of $29.1 billion and pays its workers $3.8 billion annually. It pays some $121 million in state taxes.
New York’s transportation system is one of the oldest and widest ranging in the country. New York State has a number of mass transit systems, among them the famous New York City Subway, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some 8.5 million travelers use the subway each day. Yearly, the subway provides more than 1.6 billion rides. The "Train to the Plane" subway line runs directly to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Additionally, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), Metro-North Railroad, and some New Jersey trains carry commuters in and out of the city. Amtrak’s busiest station in the country is Penn Station in midtown Manhattan.
Approximately 70,000 people work for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and $500 million is spent annually just on overtime pay. Around 2.5 million commuters use the New York City bus system, and there are more than 6,200 buses and 6,200 subway cars in the MTA system. MTA’s total revenues are more than $5.9 billion annually, but expenses are more than $12.3 billion, so plans are being examined to implement leaner business practices. The Staten Island Ferry makes more than 100 trips to and from Manhattan, ferrying some 65,000 passengers daily for free.
JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International airports are the major airports serving the New York City area. JFK is the nation’s busiest international airport, handling nearly 48 million passengers annually, as well as the most cargo. LaGuardia Airport handles about 23 million passengers annually. Newark Airport, in New Jersey, handles over 35 million passengers each year.
TRAVEL AND TOURISM
The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the "Ground Zero" site in lower Manhattan, and world-renowned museums and theater are just some of the reasons visitors flock to New York City. World-famous attractions elsewhere in the state include Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, the Hamptons, and the Catskills. About 47 million American and foreign tourists visit New York yearly. Tourist spending amounts to more than $32 billion a year. Tourism supports 314,000 jobs that earn some $179 billion. Annually some 20 million tourists travel to Niagara Falls alone.
-World Trade Press