Foodie scene and tourists create most New York City jobs, according to report

A waiter setting plates. Photo Credit: iStock

“I take out maybe four, five times a week.”

A waiter setting plates.
A waiter setting plates. Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

The city’s foodie scene and thriving tourism industry have fueled the Big Apple’s job boom, according to an analysis by the state comptroller.

Nearly 25% of new jobs in the city from 2009-14 were in the hospitality industry.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance said the growth comes from both the tourists who flock here and New Yorkers who love dining out.

“New York City is a foodie city,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the Alliance. “We have an incredible number of tourists coming here every year. So many people’s routines revolve around going to New York City restaurants.”

The coffers of eateries and bars are beefed up by both tourists and locals.

“I work in the restaurant industry so I know how much of a ripoff it can be, but I still go out like, five times a week with my buddies or a date,” said Paul Gormon, 27, who works in southern Brooklyn. “You’re not going to bring a girl to your house to cook on the first date.”

Accountant Nate Evans, 32, of Queens said he would rather eat at local places than go to a grocery store.

“I’m tired when I get home, let someone else do the work,” he said. “I take out maybe four, five times a week.”

The city added more than 400,000 jobs between 2009 and 2014, according to state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Almost 100,000 of these jobs were in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes hotels, restaurants, tourism and bars.

“The restaurant and hospital industries continue to be strong economic pillars here in New York City, and have greatly helped the region rebound from the recession,” said Melissa Fleischut, CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association.

The Hospitality Alliance also said some of the job growth has come from the growing number of professionals working in the restaurant industry.

“A lot of people have left the financial and tech sector to work in the hospitality industry,” Rigie said. “Restaurant groups have HR professionals, marketing professionals, CFOs, CEOs on staff. It’s not just the chef and the maitre d’.”

More than 56 million tourists visited New York City last year and supported about 360,000 jobs, according to NYC & Company.

“The hotels are often the first place people seek and find employment in New York City, so they are crucially important to the city’s economy,” said Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for the Hotel Association of New York City. “In terms of the taxes they pay and as great employers.”

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