The unemployment rate in New York City has been falling steadily as the effects of the Great Recession have worn off, with the total number of jobs reaching its highest level since August 2008, according to the Department of Labor. Overall, the jobless rate was at 6.8 percent in September, falling below 7 percent for the first time since late 2008.
The technology sector has driven much of that growth, with IT consulting and systems design employment growing by nearly 47 percent in the last five years. Of the 75,000 IT-related jobs that the city has added since 2009, some have come from tech giants such as Google, which has expanded its New York headquarters with about 4,000 new positions, but many more are being added by startups and other small software developing companies.
In the fast-moving industry, businesses can grow exponentially in the space of a few months — Compass, which creates real estate software, tripled in size from 60 to 180 employees in just six months and is moving to a new Union Square office, and that's just one of many success stories.
"New York has gone from a standing start to comparison with Silicon Valley," said New York City Economic Development Corporation chief economist Michael Moynihan. "And it's not just a technology story, but technology used in so many other sectors."
As this blog has reported, developers are benefiting from increasingly accessible and affordable technology, which makes it easier for creative entrepreneurs to carve out a niche in a very competitive industry. With the financial recovery, startups also have readier access to accelerators and a growing number of networking events to help them thrive.