How Big is Our Economy?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Sometimes it is difficult to appreciate the sheer size of both the United States’ and New York’s economy. It is worthwhile to step back and see just how important they are to the world. The U.S. is by far the largest economy at $20.5 trillion. But, even on a state by state level it is rather mind boggling to consider how large it really is.

New York State is America’s third largest state economy with a GDP of $1.68 trillion in 2018. This means it produced slightly more economic output last year than South Korea. If it were a separate country, New York would’ve been ranked as the world’s 11th largest economy last year. This would place it ahead of South Korea ($1.65 trillion), Russia ($1.57 trillion), and Spain ($1.43 trillion). Amazingly, as a true test to our tremendous productivity, it required a labor force of 28 million people in South Korea (nearly three times larger than New York’s 9.7 million-person workforce) to produce roughly the same amount of economic output last year. Wow! More evidence of the world-class productivity of New York’s workforce.

As a country, the United States produced 24.3% of world GDP in 2017, with only about 4.3% of the world’s population. The four states of California, Texas, New York, and Florida produced more than $1 trillion in output and as separate countries would have ranked in the world’s top 16 largest economies. Together, those four states produced nearly $7.5 trillion in economic output and as a separate country would have ranked as the world’s third-largest economy.

We should never underestimate the economic might of the United States and our own local and state economies. An amazing amount of economic strength and opportunity lie within our reach. Each time I visit a member company and see the work done, I marvel with how they compete with the world each day. The challenges are great – but so are the capabilities of our businesses. I try to remember this when I am concerned about the future of manufacturing and our country’s ability to compete.

We can compete with any country and state with a level playing field. Recently, Tiffany Latino-Gerlock, our Director of Government Relations and Communications, and I traveled to Washington D.C. to help advocate for fair trade policies for our members and manufacturers. We communicated to congressional leaders and administration officials how important it was to give our members a fair shot at growing their exports and competing with imports. The need for a strong manufacturing base in the United States was agreed to by all. It is important our voices do not go silent. MACNY will continue to work to make sure they do not.

Last week we were in Albany with over 50 manufacturing and business leaders advocating for their needs. We found many friendly supporters who want to see manufacturing growth in New York State. Together, we can be a powerful testimony to what is needed to help our local economies thrive.

Please ask yourself what ways you can help others in our local communities understand the importance of making things in New York State. We all need to lend our efforts to this important cause.