In-Depth Report

NY Space Sector Economic Summary

Patrick Chase
Aug 01 2021
The New York broader space/aerospace sector is a dynamic component of the state’s economy, employing tens of thousands of people and generating well over $1.3 billion in wages in the last 3 months of 2020 alone. NASA investments provide some of the juice for the state’s space sector, but there is significant activity outside of that as well. Below is a brief summary of some of the broad facts and realities about the economic dimension of the New York space sector.

Statewide Statistics

Empire Space analyzed the NAICS code data that tracks incorporated entities in New York State. The top-line results reveal a substantial economic dimension to the New York space sector. Note that this is a preliminary analysis and offers an insightful but limited window into the entire space sector. These figures will be augmented by more detailed analysis soon! *(All figures are for Q4 of 2020)*

Core Space sector employment: 9,219
Aerospace sector employment: 53,448
Total Space sector employment: 62,667

Core space sector wages: $265,596,483
Aerospace sector wages: $1,107,324,634
Total Space sector wages: $1,372,921,117

The primary Core Space sector in the state is primarily concentrated in Instrumentation and Satellite Telecommunications. The Aerospace sector is quite diverse, with incorporated entities in almost every industry sub-sector. The disproportionate share of state wages in the space sector vs. total employment is a demonstration of their generally high-income nature, which in turn contributes to greater secondary economic impacts.

NASA Impacts

NASA has a well-established and substantive presence in New York, which in turn generates economic activity.

NASA’s primary location in New York is the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, located at Columbia University in Manhattan. Established in 1961, the Institute contributes to NASA’s study of planetary atmospheres, including Earth’s. It was situated in New York to tap into the unique concentration of high quality universities in the greater NYC region, as well as inspire students in the region to study space.

A 2019 NASA Economic Impact Study revealed the following figures regarding the agency’s impact in New York:

“NASA contracts sourced in New York in the same year (2019) totaled $152 million. The total economic impact resulting from these activities is 1,932 jobs, $170.4 million in labor income, and $439.7 million in economic output. These economic activities generate $22.6 million in tax revenues for the state and local governments in New York….The total value added impact of NASA in New York was $255.7 million in Fiscal Year 2019.” (pgs. V, 206)

Scientific research and development was the primary economic sector benefiting from NASA’s investment, with secondary impacts felt in a diverse array of industries. NASA also found its Moon2Mars initiative was responsible for 188 jobs in the state, generating $2.2 million for local & state governments. (pg. 211)

NASA has been an economic presence in New York since the dawn of the Space Age, and the economic impacts of this continued investment in the state make the agency a core component of the New York space sector.

Bottom Line

“The broader space sector is responsible for tens of thousands of jobs throughout New York. NASA is a well-established presence in New York’s economy, with scientific research and development a prominent focus.”

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