NYC’s Billionaires Have Amassed Fortunes During Pandemic: Forbes
NYC’s richest man could have paid 350,000 New Yorkers a minimum wage salary for a year just from the increase in his wealth.
Adam Nichols, Patch StaffPosted Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 12:29 pm ET|Updated Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm ET
NEW YORK CITY – The coronavirus might have been devastating for New York City’s economy but, for the super rich, the past year has been a massive money maker.
In the past year 125 billionaires called New York state home, with the majority living in the city, according to Forbes magazine’s annual World’s Billionaires List.
Of those 125, only 19 lost money during the global pandemic. The vast majority increased their wealth by billions of dollars.
In comparison, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost their jobs in the past year and vast swaths of industry shut down. At its height last April, 14.6% of New Yorkers were unemployed compared to 3.7% the year before, according to the state’s labor department.
The latest figures show unemployment rates in the city were still at 13.2% in February this year.Subscribe
Meanwhile, New York City’s wealthiest man, Michael Bloomberg, is worth $59 billion. That’s a massive $11 billion more than Forbes reported he was worth the previous year. He ranks 20th in the nation.
To put that into context, the increase in his worth could pay more than 350,000 New Yorkers a minimum wage salary for a year. His total wealth could pay nearly 2 million people for a year.
Other wealthy New Yorkers on the list include:
Julia Koch & Family
- 2020 worth: $38.2 billion
- 2021 worth: $46.4 billion
- Primary source of income: Koch Industries
- 2020 worth: $21.6 billion
- 2021 worth: $24.6 billion
- Primary source of income: Hedge funds
- 2020 worth: $17.1 billion
- 2021 worth: $34.5 billion
- Primary source of income: Chanel
The number of billionaires internationally on Forbes’ 35th annual list jumped to an unprecedented 2,755 people, 660 more than a year ago. Altogether, they are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion in 2020.
The numbers will likely spark outrage, writes Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane. “There’s no getting around a collective $5 trillion wealth surge during a pandemic, when most of the world felt scared, sick, besieged,” he wrote in a comprehensive essay titled “Operation Wealth Speed.”
In New York’s budget, agreed on this month, hefty increases in taxes for the rich have sparked worries that they’ll leave the state, according to several reports.
A record 493 people made their debut on this year’s list. Another 250 who’d fallen off in the past made a reappearance, according to Forbes. This year’s list includes a record 328 female billionaires, up from 241 in 2020.
Soon-to-be-former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos retained the top spot on this year’s list for the fourth consecutive year. He’s worth $177 billion, $64 billion more than a year earlier.
Bezos, who founded the e-commerce giant out of his garage in Seattle, Washington, will step down as CEO at the end of this year.
See the full 2021 Forbes Billionaires List.