NYC tech hiring bounces back in first half of 2013

By Erin Griffith , written on August 6, 2013

From The News Desk

Any New York mayoral candidate would be wise to pay close attention to the tech sector -- tech boosterism has been been a bright spot in Mayor Bloomberg's candidacy. Most of the candidates have made half-hearted attempts to engage the tech community; New York techies I've talked to seem mixed on who they're voting for. (Anthony Weiner said Makerbot sounded like a beer served in Williamsburg, if that's any indication.) One techie is even running -- founder Jack Hidary is so tech-friendly he even crowdfunded his mayoral campaign on Crowdtilt. But he hasn't really registered as a blip in most polls, which pit Weiner, Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson, and Bill de Blasio against each other.

More than good will and political posturing, tech is where the job growth is in NYC. While hiring slowed in 2012, it's come back fast and furious in 2013.

In the second quarter, 357 of New York's Internet and digital media companies added 2,200 jobs, according to a study by executive search firm Cook Associates. It's a 7.3 percent gain over the first quarter. Cook Associates has been tracking hiring at 530 companies in tech and digital media in New York and Boston since the beginning of 2012, and this is the highest growth figure it has seen.

To be clear on criteria, the company looks at pure-play digital media and Web companies with more than 10 employees, the majority of which are backed by venture capital. The data set represents 90 percent of the tech sector in each city. Ad agencies and traditional media companies were not included.

Unsurprisingly, Google, with its NYC headcount of more than 3,000, led the quarter's hiring in the city. Close on its heels snapping up talent were (in order) Amazon, AppNexus, Facebook, Spotify, eBay, ZocDoc, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and TD Ameritrade.

The fastest-hiring private company list is perhaps a little more surprising (although, ZocDoc, AppNexus, and Spotify are private, so I'm a little confused on the distinction). Plenty of under-the-radar startups are hiring faster than some of the city's most buzzed-about companies. For example, whither Kickstarter, Makerbot, Twitter, Gilt, Quirky, Squarespace, or Moda Operandi? The consumer tech startups get all the glory, but in New York, the adtech startups are getting all the talent.

Here's a list of those showing "large headcount gains" last quarter, according to Cook Associates:

● Complex Media ● Yext ● Warby Parker ● Etsy ● Yodle -- adtech for local ($40 million raised) ● BuzzFeed ● Fab (which recently laid off more than 100 in Europe) ● Magnetic -- search retargeting adtech startup ● Alloy Digital -- media company and video network ($30 million raised) ● BorderFree (formerly FiftyOne, global ecommerce) ● Operative Media -- adtech company ● Undertone -- adtech company ($40 million raised) ● TapAd -- mobile adtech ● Rent the Runway ● Thrillist ● Business Insider ● Birchbox ● CPX Interactive -- adtech company ● Artsy ● Shapeways

[Image courtesy Allie_Caulfield]