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updated 4/2/2014 3:46:17 PM ET 2014-04-02T19:46:17

My organization, NY Tech Meetup, just wrapped up an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the tech industry on New York City over the past 10 years. Where prior studies treated tech as an independent silo, this study is unique in its consideration nof how tech affects the entire New York economy, including longstanding industries like finance and media.

This distribution of technology across sectors forms what we like to call the city’s "tech ecosystem," which, based on study findings, now employs more than 291,000 people, accounting for 7 percent of the city’s 4.27 million workforce. This tally represents significant growth over the past decade: From 2003 to 2013, the New York City tech ecosystem added 45,000 jobs, an increase of 18 percent. In comparison, overall employment increased by 12 percent in New York City and 4 percent nationally over the same period. This  puts New York ahead of San Francisco and just 56,000 jobs behind Silicon Valley in like employment.

The research, conducted by HR&A and commissioned by my organization, the Association for a Better New York, Citi and Google, revealed that this sector takes inmore than just highly educated workers. As many as 44 percent of the jobs in the New York City tech ecosystem do not require a bachelor’s degree. Because of this, this sector could potentially provide opportunities for the 2.89 million New Yorkers ages 25 to 64 who do not hold bachelor’s degrees. Plus, the tech-related jobs in the New York City not requiring bachelor’s degrees pay $27.75 an hour or about 45 percent more in hourly wages than positions with the same educational requirements in other industries.

With this clear evidence that tech has become a core part of New York City’s economy, policymakers should better understand why technologically driven innovation, infrastructure and education are key to the continued growth of the area and can benefit the lives of all residents.

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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