Arts, Entertainment and Recreation in New York City

Recent Trends and Impact of COVID-19




In 2019, New York City’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector employed 93,500 people in 6,250 establishments. These jobs had an average salary of $79,300 and generated $7.4 billion in total wages.

In 2019, 128,400 residents (including nearly 31,000 self-employed residents) drew their primary source of earnings from the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

From 2009 to 2019, employment in the sector grew by 42 percent, faster than the 30 percent rate for total private sector employment. Establishments and total wages in the sector also grew faster than all establishments and wages citywide.

As of December 2020, arts, entertainment and recreation employment declined by 66 percent from one year earlier, the largest decline among the City’s economic sectors.

The Chelsea/Clinton/Midtown Manhattan Business District neighborhood, home to 1,921 venues, accounted for 46 percent of all jobs in the sector, far more than any other City neighborhood.

Publication Date: February 2021

Publication Site: Office of the New York State Comptroller