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Data - May 2016

The Rise (and Fall) of Middle Wage Industries in NYC

While the share of middle income jobs in New York City has declined over the past couple of decades, there is evidence that industries with middle income wages are staging a bit of a comeback.

by Jonathan Bowles

Tags: economic growth economic opportunity middle class middle class jobs project

While the share of middle income jobs in New York City has declined over the past couple of decades, there is evidence that industries with middle income wages are staging a bit of a comeback.

This data brief is a publication of the Center for an Urban Future’s Middle Class Jobs Project, a research initiative generously funded by FISHER BROTHERS and WINSTON C. FISHER.

General operating support for the Center for an Urban Future is provided by the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation; with additional support from the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation and the M&T Charitable Foundation.

As this analysis shows, middle-wage industries—those with annual salaries between $40,000 and $80,000—accounted for 3 of the 8 sectors with a net gain of at least 10,000 jobs. Additionally, the 75 industries producing the greatest job growth between 2011 and 2015 include a near-equal representation of middle-wage sectors (23), low-wage sectors (24) and high-wage sectors (28). And 23 different middle-wage sectors added at least 1,000 jobs during this period.

Despite these positive trends, however, there are clear signs that middle-income industries in New York still lag behind low-wage and high-wage sectors. Overall, middle wage industries added fewer jobs in the five boroughs (110,880) than high-wage industries (112,919) and low-wage industries (169,613).

Middle income sectors also account for a disproportionately large share of the industries that have been shedding jobs in recent years. Of the 75 industries with the most job losses in the city between 2011 and 2015, 34 were middle-wage sectors, 22 were high-wage sectors and 19 were low-wage sectors. In fact, the 14 industries with the largest net-decline in jobs during this period were all in high-wage (9) and middle-wage (5) sectors.

The two industries with the most job gains in the city during this period both were low-wage industries, paying under $40k. They were:

  • Restaurants and other eating places, which had a net gain of 55,145 jobs between 2011 and 2015. Jobs in this industry pay an average of $25,462
  • Home Health Care services, which had a net gain of 37,859 jobs during this period. Jobs in this industry pay an average of $25,754.

The good news is that there are a number of middle income sectors that have been adding thousands of jobs in the five borough, several of which have potential for more growth in the years ahead. These high-growth sectors span fields from educational services and construction to health care, the arts and transportation. The 23 middle wage sectors that added at least 1,000 jobs in the city between 2011 and 2015 include:

Industry % Job Growth # Job Growth Wages
EMPLOYMENT SERVICES 29.4% 17416 47769.46
BUILDING EQUIPMENT CONTRACTORS 28.0% 12406 76340.68
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES 18.4% 12319 73280.47
ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS 25.2% 9304 51310.08
SERVICES TO BUILDINGS & DWELLINGS 19.7% 6638 42258.41
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTION 38.8% 6528 53292.30
HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE STORES 15.5% 5973 42817.28
TRAVELER ACCOMMODATION 13.3% 5859 60104.33
ACTIVITIES RELATED TO REAL ESTATE 17.8% 5437 72476.05
PROMOTERS - PERFORMING ARTS & SPORTS 36.6% 3282 79912.24
SOCIAL ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS 24.5% 2695 66724.65
GENERAL MEDICAL & SURGICAL HOSPITALS 1.8% 2504 78555.24
OFFICES OF OTHER HEALTH PRACTITIONERS 17.8% 2435 42230.68
SCHEDULED AIR TRANSPORTATION 8.9% 2433 73363.15
MUSEUMS HISTORICAL SITES & SIMILAR 19.7% 2352 53674.47
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SERV 10.0% 1504 73079.61
FOUNDATION STRUCTURE & BLDG EXTERIOR 15.3% 1470 64061.68
COMMUNITY FOOD & HOUSING & EMERGENCY 14.6% 1347 41094.84
BUILDING FINISHING CONTRACTORS 9.6% 1322 62601.93
OFFICES OF DENTISTS 7.1% 1279 47515.85
GROCERY & RELATED PRODUCT WHSLE 5.5% 1123 52397.98
OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS 6.2% 1034 53948.07
MEDICAL & DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORIES 24.3% 1001 72820.92

In this data brief, low-wage industries are defined as those with average annual wages under $40,000; middle-wage industries are those with average annual wages between $40,000 and $80,000; and high-wage industries are those with average annual wages over $80,000.

This data brief was based on an analysis of 4-digit NAICS industry employment data provided by the New York State Labor Department, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Data analyzes job totals in the third quarter of 2011 and the third quarter of 2015, which was the most recent quarter for which QCEW data is available. Wage data is based on end-of-year totals for 2014, the most recent full year for which data is available.

 
 
 
75 Industries With the Most Job Gains in New York City, 2011-2015
Industry % Job Growth Job Growth Avg Annual Wage
RESTAURANTS AND OTHER EATING PLACES 27.7% 55145 25462.97
HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES 46.9% 37859 25754.93
EMPLOYMENT SERVICES 29.4% 17416 47769.46
OTHER INFORMATION SERVICES 78.7% 15688 142009.39
COMPUTER SYSTEMS DESIGN & RELATED 27.2% 13328 130721.97
ADVERTISING & RELATED SERVICES 22.6% 13157 124085.46
BUILDING EQUIPMENT CONTRACTORS 28.0% 12406 76340.68
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES 18.4% 12319 73280.47
MANAGEMENT SCIENTIFIC & TECH CONSULT 28.8% 9915 149072.95
DEPOSITORY CREDIT INTERMEDIATION 20.0% 9900 162131.73
GROCERY STORES 18.1% 9546 23039.71
ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS 25.2% 9304 51310.08
OTHER FINANCIAL INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES 15.6% 9241 418328.18
ACCOUNTING-TAX PREP-BOOKKEEPING 22.1% 9139 107832.53
ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING & RELATED 29.3% 7695 99574.89
INDIVIDUAL & FAMILY SERVICES 6.1% 7042 27277.91
SERVICES TO BUILDINGS & DWELLINGS 19.7% 6638 42258.41
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTION 38.8% 6528 53292.30
OFFICES OF PHYSICIANS 12.1% 6157 80902.49
PERSONAL CARE SERVICES 27.7% 6051 24838.85
HEALTH & PERSONAL CARE STORES 15.5% 5973 42817.28
INVESTIGATION & SECURITY SERVICES 12.7% 5923 30268.04
TRAVELER ACCOMMODATION 13.3% 5859 60104.33
OTHER AMUSEMENT & RECREATION 23.6% 5438 30464.54
ACTIVITIES RELATED TO REAL ESTATE 17.8% 5437 72476.05
MANAGEMENT OF COMPANIES & ENTERPRISES 8.1% 5105 190573.74
OTHER SCHOOLS & INSTRUCTION 32.6% 4859 29071.34
CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES 16.7% 4290 29272.44
SPECIAL FOOD SERVICES 19.7% 4161 32250.54
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING CONSTRUC 27.1% 3656 96587.61
AGENCIES BROKERAGES & OTHER RELATED 16.5% 3642 146696.99
ELECTRONIC SHOPPING & MAIL-ORDER 46.0% 3583 83673.83
SUPPORT ACTIVITIES - AIR TRANSPORT 63.3% 3383 30863.88
PROMOTERS - PERFORMING ARTS & SPORTS 36.6% 3282 79912.24
DRINKING PLACES (ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES) 39.4% 3273 29570.77
SOFTWARE PUBLISHERS 172.2% 2791 144353.87
SOCIAL ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS 24.5% 2695 66724.65
BAKERIES & TORTILLA MFG 30.0% 2670 24547.03
DATA PROCESSING HOSTING & RELATED 51.1% 2662 146796.59
GENERAL MEDICAL & SURGICAL HOSPITALS 1.8% 2504 78555.24
OFFICES OF OTHER HEALTH PRACTITIONERS 17.8% 2435 42230.68
SCHEDULED AIR TRANSPORTATION 8.9% 2433 73363.15
BUSINESS/PROFESSIONAL/LABOR/POLITICAL 14.0% 2430 85439.57
CLOTHING STORES 4.3% 2363 38962.41
MOTION PICTURE & VIDEO INDUSTRIES 6.6% 2353 113159.90
MUSEUMS HISTORICAL SITES & SIMILAR 19.7% 2352 53674.47
DEPARTMENT STORES 8.0% 2240 33659.94
SPECIALIZED DESIGN SERVICES 17.9% 1934 87346.67
SPECIALTY HOSPITALS(EX PSYCH & ABUSE) 14.7% 1918 99556.87
OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES 14.0% 1909 33671.71
RESIDENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE 8.9% 1897 31464.74
OFFICES:REAL ESTATE AGENTS & BROKERS 16.0% 1844 134460.68
OTHER GENERAL MERCHANDISE STORES 16.6% 1728 21978.54
GRANTMAKING & GIVING SERVICES 13.0% 1585 84917.19
WHOLESALE ELECTRONIC MARKETS & AGENTS 13.2% 1567 114770.57
OTHER PROFESSIONAL SCIENTIFIC & TECH 11.1% 1566 82937.94
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SERV 10.0% 1504 73079.61
OTHER MISCELLANEOUS STORE RETAILERS 20.0% 1495 88718.29
FOUNDATION STRUCTURE & BLDG EXTERIOR 15.3% 1470 64061.68
SCHOOL & EMPLOYEE BUS TRANSPORT 18.1% 1453 38230.32
PRIVATE HOUSEHOLDS 8.8% 1413 35980.80
COMMUNITY FOOD & HOUSING & EMERGENCY 14.6% 1347 41094.84
BUILDING FINISHING CONTRACTORS 9.6% 1322 62601.93
INSURANCE CARRIERS 4.2% 1281 158533.48
OFFICES OF DENTISTS 7.1% 1279 47515.85
CIVIC & SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS 13.0% 1265 33334.88
RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS 6.3% 1165 32936.72
GROCERY & RELATED PRODUCT WHSLE 5.5% 1123 52397.98
OUTPATIENT CARE CENTERS 6.2% 1034 53948.07
ACTIVITIES RELATED TO CREDIT INTER 9.3% 1024 170988.83
APPAREL PIECE GOODS & NOTIONS WHSLE 3.4% 1006 115136.73
MEDICAL & DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORIES 24.3% 1001 72820.92
AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR & MAINTENANCE 10.2% 967 28838.75
BUILDING MATERIAL & SUPPLIES DEALERS 7.6% 960 37930.88
BEER WINE & DISTILLED BEVERAGE WHSLE 18.8% 921 90747.73
75 Industries With the Most Job Losses in New York City, 2011-2015
Industry % Job Growth Job Growth Avg Annual Wage
SECURITIES & COMMODITY CONTRACTS -6.2% -6827 398907.76
INSURANCE & EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUNDS -93.7% -4697 139542.38
NONDEPOSITORY CREDIT INTERMEDIATION -15.5% -4361 261793.36
NEWSPAPER/PERIODICAL/BOOK/DIRECTORY -9.9% -4354 127618.50
NURSING CARE FACILITIES -6.3% -2805 44696.18
BUSINESS SUPPORT SERVICES -11.4% -1615 64238.51
CABLE & OTHER SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAM -13.8% -1407 188916.84
CUT & SEW APPAREL MFG -7.5% -1147 60430.06
OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES -7.5% -957 193301.01
SECURITIES & COMMODITY EXCHANGES -43.5% -937 222214.49
MISCELLANEOUS NONDURABLE GOODS WHSLE -12.2% -765 55963.86
OTHER INVESTMENT POOLS & FUNDS -64.3% -764 204479.58
NONSCHEDULED AIR TRANSPORTATION -60.5% -643 97739.33
PRINTING & RELATED SUPPORT ACTIVITIES -9.1% -579 52617.60
JUNIOR COLLEGES -41.7% -570 38516.92
OTHER HEAVY & CIVIL ENGINEERING CON -24.5% -557 91405.72
MISCELLANEOUS DURABLE GOODS WHSLE -3.2% -537 68217.37
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES -5.4% -498 33487.09
BOOK PERIODICAL & MUSIC STORES -11.9% -488 25740.92
OTHER RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES -10.2% -474 36768.78
WIRED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS -2.6% -370 98720.70
WIRELESS TELECOM CARRIERS(EXC SATEL) -39.7% -363 90355.40
HARDWARE & PLUMBING & HEATING EQUIP -9.5% -350 71909.29
LEGAL SERVICES -0.4% -289 139579.47
PSYCH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE HOSPITALS -13.8% -273 57516.15
OTHER MISCELLANEOUS MFG -3.3% -268 56733.59
TEXTILE & FABRIC FINISHING & COATING -22.7% -252 91609.89
UTILITY SYSTEM CONSTRUCTION -8.8% -245 127038.89
MOTOR VEHICLE PARTS MFG -50.4% -244 35654.41
LESSORS OF NONFINANCIAL INTANGIBLES -11.5% -242 118896.89
APPAREL ACCESSORIES & OTHER APPAREL -28.3% -216 29213.85
OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES -4.5% -210 62875.46
CONVERTED PAPER PRODUCT MFG -15.2% -196 56402.65
SEMICONDUCTOR & OTHER ELEC COMPONENTS -30.7% -195 54113.75
COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT MFG -23.4% -191 59503.46
SUGAR & CONFECTIONERY PRODUCT MFG -21.5% -178 34474.71
ELECTRIC LIGHTING EQUIPMENT MFG -25.3% -167 56165.41
MFG & REP MAGNETIC & OPTICAL MEASUR -55.3% -162 64506.66
CHARTER BUS INDUSTRY -16.9% -155 28466.79
SUPPORT ACTIVITIES - WATER TRANSPORT -9.5% -149 75889.74
OTHER TELECOMMUNICATIONS -5.2% -142 119889.38
FRUIT & VEGETABLE & SPECIALTY FOOD -13.1% -128 40319.63
VENTILATION HEATING AIR-CONDITIONING -45.4% -128 38805.91
AUTO PARTS ACCESS & TIRE STORES -4.0% -125 34625.05
SUPPORT ACTIVITIES - ROAD TRANSPORT -15.7% -120 32748.67
ELECTRONIC & PRECISION EQUIP REPAIR -10.5% -102 58932.93
DEATH CARE SERVICES -3.7% -98 55715.46
PHARMACEUTICAL & MEDICINE MFG -9.4% -91 119894.68
COMMERCIAL & SERVICE INDUSTRY MACH -38.1% -88 29695.10
TEXTILE FURNISHINGS MILLS -16.8% -85 76045.41
BOILER TANK & SHIPPING CONTAINER MFG -27.4% -82 84905.13
OTHER LEATHER & ALLIED PRODUCT MFG -21.3% -76 34828.87
FABRIC MILLS -25.3% -75 65270.70
INTERURBAN & RURAL BUS TRANSPORT -6.3% -68 49703.93
GENERAL RENTAL CENTERS -22.5% -66 69601.97
CHEMICAL & ALLIED PRODUCTS WHSLE -3.9% -65 109050.31
LAWN & GARDEN EQUIP & SUPPLIES STORES -22.4% -65 39114.26
FARM PRODUCT RAW MATERIAL WHSLE -35.4% -57 63207.60
LAND & SUBDIVISION -27.2% -56 108995.49
COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL MACH & EQUIP -4.8% -54 54697.92
APPAREL KNITTING MILLS -11.1% -46 41529.19
OTHER NONMETALLIC MINERAL PROD MFG -15.7% -40 51557.91
OTHER FABRICATED METAL PRODUCT MFG -13.5% -39 48423.25
ROOMING & BOARDING HOUSES -6.2% -32 61644.88
NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION -1.4% -31 103406.40
CUTLERY & HANDTOOL MFG -11.4% -29 37650.96
AEROSPACE PRODUCT & PARTS MFG -4.9% -28 67215.32
PESTICIDE FERTILIZER & AGRIC CHEMICAL -100.0% -28 35594.00
OTHER TRANSIT & GROUND PASSENGER -0.4% -26 33807.15
GRAIN & OILSEED MILLING -42.2% -19 49394.18
DRYCLEANING & LAUNDRY SERVICES -0.2% -19 21564.49
VEGETABLE & MELON FARMING -56.3% -18 26267.87
MACHINERY EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES WHSLE -0.6% -17 66109.53
FOUNDRIES -33.3% -17 40404.41
COATING ENGRAVING HEAT TREATING -3.2% -14 47810.98