Silicon Alley

So Just How Big Has New York’s Tech Sector Gotten?

The "tech/information sector" is now "the second-largest engine of the New York City economy," after Wall street.
Almost feeling nostalgic. (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Almost feeling nostalgic. (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Just in time to hand the whole dog-and-pony show off to his successor, Mayor Bloomberg finally has some new numbers to rattle off at those chipper press conferences he’s always holding at startup offices.

Today, pegged to the closed-door Bloomberg Technology Summit, hizzoner’s foundation dropped a big report on the state of the city’s tech business. And, well, would you believe it? They found that it’s grown prodigiously since 2007.

The stats: The “tech/information sector” currently supports 262,000 jobs and has become “the second-largest engine of the New York City economy,” i.e. bigger than healthcare. The sector has grown 11 percent since 2007, up 26,000 gigs and $5.8 billion in paychecks. (Which works out to $223,000 per gig annually, so we’re not talking scraping-by wages.)

Not too shabby when you consider that huge chunks of the national economy remain firmly wedged in the shitter:

“Growth in the tech/information sector enabled New York to increase private sector employment by 4 percent between 2007 and 2012 at a time when national private sector payrolls fell by 3 percent. Because of the growth of the tech/information sector, New York City’s share of the nation’s private sector employment now stands at its highest level since 1992.”

This comes with a few caveats, though. For one thing, these numbers aren’t just startups, or even purely tech companies. Lumped in are old media empires like the New York Times and information behemoths like Bloomberg LP, so it’s not like the startup scene can take 100 percent of the credit for those impressive stats.

It also might tweak the noses of local techies to hear so much credit for the boom attributed to the city government: “The difference [between New York and other well-positioned cities] can be attributed to the far-sighted actions by Mayor Bloomberg’s administration to act as a catalyst for the tech/information sector.” It’s worth noting once again, though, that this was a study sponsored by the mayor’s own foundation, which isn’t exactly a neutral observer when it comes to the matter of his legacy as Silicon Alley’s benevolent Uncle Moneybags.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens once the mayor rides off into the sunset (or hops onto his private jet and charts a course for London, whichever).

(h/t The Verge)

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com