EconomyMain article: Economy of New York City
Manhattan has some of the nation's most valuable real estate, and has a reputation as one of the most expensive areas in the United States.
Manhattan is the economic engine of New York City, with its 2.3 million workers drawn from the entire New York metropolitan area accounting for almost two-thirds of all jobs in New York City. Manhattan's daytime population swells to 3.94 million, with commuters adding a net 1.34 million people to the population. This commuter influx of 1.61 million workers coming into Manhattan was the largest of any other county or city in the country, and was more than triple the 480,000 commuters who headed into second-ranked Washington, D.C.
Its most important economic sector is the finance industry, whose 280,000 workers earned more than half of all the wages paid in the borough. The securities industry, best known by its center in Wall Street, forms the largest segment of the city's financial sector, accounting for over 50% of the financial services employment. Before the financial crisis of 2008, the five largest securities-trading firms in the U.S. had their headquarters in Manhattan.
In 2006, those in the Manhattan financial industry earned an average weekly pay of about $8,300 (including bonuses), while the average weekly pay for all industries was about $2,500. This was the highest in the country's 325 largest counties, and the salary growth of 8% was the highest among the ten largest counties. Pay in the borough was 85% higher than the $784 pay earned weekly nationwide and nearly double the amount earned by workers in the outer boroughs. The health care sector represents about 11% of the borough's jobs and 4% of total compensation, with workers taking home about $900 per week.
New York City is home to the most corporate headquarters of any city in the nation, the overwhelming majority based in Manhattan. Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the United States. Lower Manhattan is the nation's third-largest central business district (after Chicago's Loop) and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange (Amex), the New York Board of Trade, the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) and NASDAQ.
Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks are headquartered in Manhattan. "Madison Avenue" is often used metonymously to refer to the entire advertising field, after Madison Avenue became identified with the advertising industry after the explosive growth in the area in the 1920s.
Manhattan's workforce is overwhelmingly focused on white collar professions, with manufacturing (39,800 workers) and construction (31,600) accounting for a small fraction of the borough's employment.
Historically, this corporate presence has been complemented by many independent retailers, though a recent influx of national chain stores has caused many to lament the creeping homogenization of Manhattan.
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