The Economy in New York City

1 min readLast updated January 9, 2024by Rachel Carey

Discover what makes the economy in New York City a world-class metropolis of booming tourism, culture, and complex social issues.


  • The New York City economy is the 3rd largest in the USA and is growing slowly but steadily. 

  • Financial and business services and health care contribute to a large portion of employment in New York City. 

  • Underlying issues in New York City include an increase in unemployment, crime, tourist saturation and a high cost of living. 

  • The future of the New York City economy is positive, with growth predicted for 2024. 

  • A financial advisor can help you make the best decisions that take advantage of the economic opportunities in New York City.  

Understanding the New York City economy 

New York City is an iconic American city that boasts the third-largest economy in the USA. With a GDP of over $1.7 trillion, NYC would be ranked as the world’s twelfth-strongest global economy if it were its own country. It is also a central job hub for civilians, especially in the finance and banking industries.  

In 2023, the average New Yorker's income is $24.63 per hour or $51,239 per year. Unfortunately, despite having one of the highest average income rates in the world, the high cost of living means that such good wages are often worth less in NYC than they would be in most other US metros. Additionally, as one of the world’s most consistently famous and beloved destinations, tourism in New York City is booming, with more than 63 million visitors and an overall market value of $258 million in 2023.  

Understanding the economy in the city where you live or are planning on retiring is important when it comes to managing every aspect of your finances, from investments to taxes. By keeping your finger on the pulse of local economies and working with a financial advisor, everyone can take control of their finances. A financial advisor can guide you in making smart decisions and will always take both the American economy and your local economy into consideration. 

What is the main industry driving the New York City economy? 

The biggest industries that drive employment in New York City are financial services (banking, stock trading, etc.), health care, retail services, professional and business services (lawyers, mechanics, accounts, etc.), and manufacturing.  

However, financial services, specifically the New York Stock Exchange, unequivocally drive the economy in New York City, generating a whopping $429 billion to the state’s GDP every year.  

What are the positives of the New York City economy? 

As one of the strongest economies in America and the world, New York City’s economy has many positives to consider. Here are some of the top ones, broken down: 

  • Huge economic wealth: NYC’s economy is one of the largest in the world, making it a city with high income potential, above-average infrastructure, and high quality of life.  

  • Supports big industries: Financial, professional, scientific, and technological services all thrive in New York City, contributing to a powerful business system and connection to other major cities.  

  • Great nightlife, arts, and culture: NYC is globally renowned for its active theater, film, art, food, and nightlife scene, which makes it an exciting metro to live in.  

  • Good job opportunities: There are lots of high-paying jobs in New York City.  

What are the underlying issues in the New York City economy?  

Just like most cities, NYC is a complex metropolis that has a few ongoing issues and drawbacks that bring contrast to its quality of life.  

Some of the most notable ones include: 

  • Unemployment issues: Unemployment in New York City is currently at 5.3%, which is higher than it was last year (2022) this time. However, NYC has the seventh-best employment rate in the USA overall.  

  • Very high cost of living: Despite its higher-than-average income rate, living in New York is expensive, with most people spending approximately 30% of their income on rent alone in 2023.  

  • Tourist saturation: Tourism in NYC may be thriving, but that can be exhausting for local civilians.  

  • Crime: NYC’s crime rates have actually decreased significantly over the past year, but the city is ranked as having the eighteenth-highest violent crime rate in America, tied with Indiana and West Virginia.   

The future of New York City’s economy 

Even though New York City has one of the strongest economies in the world, all economies are prone to change – be it in a city, state, or country. Local NYC politicians are very future-focused, with economic spectators projecting an economic growth rate of 27.4%.  

For the most part, the economy in New York City is continuing to grow, with tourism rates, GDP, and employment opportunities on the rise.  

Although unemployment in New York City has risen slightly, this is not yet a major concern as the economy overall is growing steadily.  

The bottom line 

There are few cities in the world as famous and lucrative as New York City. The New York City economy is known for being globally powerful, having high income potential, and its vast financial and business districts. NYC is a great place to live and work if you are willing to accept the tourist saturation and inconsistent employment rates.  

If you want to expand your knowledge of the American economy further and learn how to take charge of your own finances, you need a financial advisor. Let Unbiased match you with an SEC-regulated financial advisor who suits your needs and can help you secure a brighter financial future. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.