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Feeding New York: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers in New York City's Food Manufacturing Industry

June 1, 2014

With some $5 billion in gross annual sales, New York City's food manufacturing industry provides the livelihoods of 14,000 workers and their families. Approximately 900 firms do business across the five boroughs of New York City. Across New York State, the industry employs 43,142 workers. Food manufacturing provides an important source of employment for those with a range of educational backgrounds and familiarity with English -- according to a 2007 study by the Fiscal Policy Institute, 70% of workers in the sector are immigrants, 72% are people of color, and 64% have less than a high school diploma. Increasingly, the industry also provides opportunities for women, though they are often paid less and face obstacles to better jobs.