Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

As tech jobs surged in New York Metropolis over the past decade, Manhattan continued to be house to the overwhelming majority of them, whereas Brooklyn established itself as a viable various, particularly alongside the waterfront.

But Queens has seen solely minimal progress and the Bronx and Staten Island have been fully bypassed by the growth, in keeping with a report on the “tech ecosystem” to be launched Tuesday by the civic group Affiliation for a Higher New York and the commerce group Tech:NYC.

The geographic focus of tech jobs contributes to the business’s persistent variety problem: Simply over one-fifth of tech employees determine as Black or Latino, in contrast with one-third of the whole New York Metropolis workforce.

“The report exhibits some progress on variety,” mentioned Jason Clark, govt director of Tech:NYC. “We will’t proceed to relaxation on the job numbers.”

“The New York Metropolis Tech Ecosystem,” updating an analogous research a decade in the past, makes clear how know-how corporations — and know-how work at non-tech corporations — have turn into important to town. 

It discovered that the “tech ecosystem” employed 369,000 folks in 2021, up 32% over a decade. Tech accounted for one-quarter of all new jobs in that interval, and seven% of town’s complete workforce.

The business pays nicely, with a median wage of $48 per hour in contrast with the $35 metropolis common. Even folks with out a faculty diploma earn $30 an hour in tech, in contrast with a $22 common.

“The report exhibits how highly effective tech has turn into in driving the economic system, and the big position it has performed prior to now 10 years in producing jobs,” mentioned Kate Wittels, a guide on the agency HR&A Advisors who oversaw the hassle. “If New York is to proceed to develop, tech must be a core part of our economic system.”

Whereas different research make use of a standard business evaluation by wanting on the variety of staff at corporations the place the central enterprise is know-how, this report examines the “tech ecosystem” by combining all jobs at tech corporations — whether or not technology-oriented or different positions resembling salespeople — together with tech-oriented positions at non-tech corporations resembling IT help workers, programmers and pc engineers. 

Google’s new workplace beneath building in decrease Manhattan, Sept. 21, 2021.

It comes as main tech corporations like Twitter, Fb and Amazon are shedding employees, though the influence of these reductions in New York will not be but clear.

Manhattan continues to dominate. The borough noticed tech jobs develop by a 3rd within the final decade, and its 272,000 positions account for totally three-quarters of the ecosystem. Because the report notes, Manhattan gives density — each when it comes to different tech corporations and employees — and ample workplace house, plus main investments in incubators and different packages that present a help system.

On the identical time, the Brooklyn waterfront emerged as a second hub for the business.

“Brooklyn grew to become by the early 2000s ideally endowed to help a various tech economic system,” mentioned Sharon Zukin, professor emerita of sociology at CUNY and creator of “The Innovation Advanced,” a ebook on the rise of tech within the metropolis. “Low-cost previously industrial house, gentrifiable neighborhoods the place tech employees might reside and, at the very least on the East River waterfront, the aura of irreverent cool.”

Essential to that progress, Zukin mentioned, was funding by metropolis authorities at previously industrial websites it owned, starting with the Brooklyn Navy Yard after which extending to the Brooklyn Military Terminal, together with the house for tech corporations on the privately owned Business Metropolis.

Lacking out on the expansion of the final 10 years was Queens, which gained solely 3,000 jobs and noticed its share of the ecosystem decline.

The Adams administration’s emphasis is on entry to jobs fairly than increasing tech’s geographic footprint.

“This administration is constructing a extra equitable tech economic system,” mentioned Anthony Hogrebe, a spokesperson for the mayor. “The truth is that a lot of our tech workplace house — and business house usually — stays in Manhattan and Brooklyn. However what’s extra essential is that New Yorkers in each group can entry these jobs or launch their very own startups — and that’s the place we have now already seen progress.”

The Amazon Impact

Lengthy Island Metropolis on the Queens waterfront was as soon as seen as a promising location, with the institution of Cornell Tech on close by Roosevelt Island in 2017 anticipated to supply entrepreneurs who would settle there. 

However Amazon’s choice in early 2019 to scrap plans for a 25,000-employee second headquarters in Lengthy Island Metropolis — after going through opposition from progressive politicians who decried $3 billion in tax breaks town and the state provided — was a blow to the promise of a Queens tech cluster. The location Amazon ended up utilizing in Alexandria, Va. already employs 5,000 folks.

In the meantime, the state of New York simply handed the semiconductor firm Micron $5.5 billion in tax breaks for an upstate plant that can make use of 9,000 folks.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce is looking for to fill the void left by Amazon by forming a Queens Tech Council. This week, it’s opening the primary of 5 tech incubators, to be established within the Rockaways, downtown Jamaica, Flushing, Forest Hills and Lengthy Island Metropolis. Chamber President Thomas Grech has cash from the state and donations to offer free house to twenty corporations, together with assist from town’s Small Enterprise Companies and the state’s Empire Improvement Corp.

Grech can be making an attempt to boost $40 million for a startup fund to lure younger corporations to Queens.

“We are going to by no means get one other shot at an HQ2, however the entire effort is to construct an setting the place tech is welcome and folks educated at our universities keep within the metropolis,” he mentioned.

The residential nature of Staten Island, with solely 6,000 tech jobs, makes a hub there unlikely.

As a substitute town ought to attempt to ensure that residents have entry to jobs in the remainder of town, says Wittels of HR&A.

The Bronx, with solely 11,000 jobs or 3% of the full, represents probably the best alternative for progress. A number of planning efforts have been made in areas just like the Hub within the South Bronx, however they haven’t amounted to a lot and there must be a lot better funding, she mentioned.

“We have to take from this report that there was superb progress in tech, if we might do extra to create tech hubs in these boroughs there may be limitless potential,” mentioned Clark of Tech:NYC.

Along with broadening the geographic variety of tech, the report notes that town should discover a method to create a stronger pipeline linking New Yorkers to tech jobs. 

A report earlier this month from the Heart for an City Future confirmed how CUNY has doubled to 4,000 its variety of pc science graduates, however {that a} yr after commencement solely half had jobs of their discipline. Solely 10% of CUNY college students can land paid internships, a key pathway into nicely paying jobs.

CUF mentioned that whereas many new packages are promising, they’re too small and poorly funded — as is CUNY’s personal profession providers help. “It’s arduous to make a dent,” mentioned Wittels. “I endorse every thing the Heart mentioned.” 

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