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New figures from the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment first economic impact study of local nightlife illuminate the centrality of nightlife businesses to the city’s financial fabric, down to each dollar. New York is home to more than 25,000 nightlife establishments that collectively rake in $697 millions dollars in tax revenue. “Nightlife,” by the 80-page report’s definition, encompasses the entertainment activity that occurs between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. The word “nightlife” breaks down into five categories: bars, arts and culture, venues, food services, and sports and recreation. Food is the foundation of the New York City nightlife economy, accounting for the most jobs, employee compensation, and economic output in the context of the city’s five nightlife categories.
The booming nightlife businesses that span New York’s five boroughs sustain 299,000 jobs, with more to presumably come, given the report’s indication that nightlife is outpacing the other sectors that comprise New York’s economy. Non-nightlife related positions in the city notably bear witness to a job and wage rise of 3 and 4 percent, respectively, whereas the jobs and wages associated with nightlife are charting individual increases of 5 and 8 percent.
The study’s venue-focused examination of metropolitan nightlife growth also found progression evident in the number of venues that have opened in New York. Although a number of New York nightclubs like Output, Cielo, and Highline Ballroom have announced their imminent closure, Brooklyn and Queens nevertheless saw a 10 percent annual growth in the number of venues located therein. Brooklyn and Queens’ upward trajectory of new venue introduction compares to the city’s overall hike of 4 percent. Brooklyn boasted the largest surge of nightlife activity of all of New York’s five boroughs, to record a 5 percent annual growth rate. The city lays claim to a comparative nightlife establishment growth rate of two percent. New York venues equip a whopping 19,900 employees with jobs, and $373 million in wages, not to mention $1.2 billion dollars in direct economic output.
“Nightlife is a really powerful economic driver, and important cultural industry that deserves the respect, attention, and support of the city,” said Ariel Palitz, former nightclub owner, and current senior executive director of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s newly instituted Office of Nightlife. “[The study] really does help us to lay down the groundwork to inform the office, as well as the city, more exactly and definitively what a major part of the economy nightlife is,” Palitz added. “We’re looking at this data as a roadmap to what really needs to be addressed. In the past, the presumption of nightlife has been that it’s in the dark. But in actuality, it’s really the other 9-5. And it’s a huge part of the economy that needs to be taken seriously with respect and support to make sure it thrives and survives.”
Read the full-length study here.