Economic Impact Study of NYC Nightlife


New report finds New York City's nightlife supports 299,000 jobs, $13.1 billion in employee compensation, and $35.1 billion in total economic output.

There are more than 25,000 nightlife establishments contributing $697 million in local tax revenue. Nightlife related jobs and wages are growing faster than the rest of the city's economy. Food service is the backbone of NYC's nightlife economy, responsible for the vast majority of jobs, employee compensation, and economic output.





Nightlife by Subsector

In the new report, nightlife is defined as the activity that occurs between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. in five hospitality and entertainment subsectors: food service, bars, venues, arts and culture, and spectator sports and recreation. Here is a breakdown of the economic contribution of each:

  • Food service is the backbone of New York City's nightlife economy with 19,400 establishments. This subsector is responsible 72% of jobs (141,000 jobs), 68% of employee compensation ($4.2 billion), and 67% of economic output ($12 billion). Food service represents over 80% of nightlife establishments in every borough except Manhattan, where food service represents 66%.
  • The Bar subsector has also outpaced the overall nightlife industry, with 7% growth in jobs and 9% in wages, much of which has been driven by Brooklyn, which has seen a 16% increase in jobs and 21% increase in wages. The Bar subsector is responsible for 13,400 jobs, $492 million in employee compensation, and $2 billion in economic output
  • The Venues subsector is seeing a resurgence with jobs and employee compensation growing at rates of 3% and 9%. Queens has seen 10% annual growth in the number of these establishments. Venues are responsible for 19,900 jobs, $373M in employee compensation, and $1.2B in economic output
  • The Arts and Culture subsector has 1,800 establishments and supports 18,300 jobs, $804 million in employee compensation, and $3.1B in economic output. Manhattan's arts-based nightlife activity accounts for 75% and 90% of the subsector's jobs and wages, respectively.
  • In the Spectator Sports and Recreation subsector jobs and wages are growing at a rate of 0% and 8%, contributing 3,900 direct jobs, $352 million in employee compensation, and $735M in economic output

Borough Snapshots

Manhattan captures most of the jobs and economic activity in nightlife with 128,000 direct jobs and $4.8 billion in employee compensation representing 66% and 65% of direct economic activity relating to nightlife, respectively. Manhattan has experienced a relatively modest 2% growth in establishments with 13,000 as of 2016, and a 1.6% annualized growth rate in liquor licenses since 2000.

Brooklyn has experienced the greatest growth in nightlife with 5,500 establishments as of 2016 and an annual growth rate of 5%. Jobs and wages have risen 10% and 15%, respectively, with a total of 31,100 direct nightlife jobs and $608 million in wages.

Queens, with 4,800 nightlife establishments in 2016, also outpaced overall city nightlife growth. The borough has experienced strong annualized growth rates for jobs and wages, 7% and 9% respectively. Notably, Queens' venues have grown by 10% in the last five years in comparison to citywide venue growth of 4%.

In The Bronx, there were 7,600 total nightlife jobs supporting $129 million in wages in 2016. The annualized growth rate for jobs is 7% and the annualized wage growth rate is 9%. Venues grew by 3%, however, the bars and food service subsectors declined by 2%.

Staten Island is the quietest nightlife economy of the five boroughs with 800 nightlife establishments in 2016, a slight decline from 815 in 2015. The borough has 3,900 direct nightlife jobs, supporting $64M in wages.


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