The panelists agreed that the increasing diversification of New York’s economic base is a positive trend. Wylde pointed to the recent rise in domestic in-migration of young people as the key driver of the city’s population growth. Traditionally, however, foreign immigration had been a key driver, she said, noting that in 2018, foreign immigration to New York had dropped by 21%.
Wylde cited recent research by the Partnership that showed that the number one concern among foreign companies investing in New York is infrastructure, particularly transportation. Kelly noted that New York’s wide network of subways, trains, buses and ferries connecting the suburbs to the city is one major factor making it possible for New York to compete with other metropolitan areas. This connection balances out the higher cost of central-district housing. Learner added that industry diversification is crucial for New York’s continued growth. Nonetheless, the fact remains that outside of financial services, compensation is significantly lower, which weighs on the city’s tax coffers, she said.