Recent Posts

  • How the State Senate Gerrymander Ultimately Hurt Upstate Residents- The November election brought a marked change in the composition of the New York State Senate that will have significant implications for upstate New York residents.  Tom Precious in the Buffalo News noted, “Majority party rules and minority party lawmakers are left with table scraps when it comes to funding…
  • Misconceptions About People in Poverty – Additional Information- This is an expanded version of the essay, "False Stereotypes Harm People in Poverty" that appeared in the Rochester Beacon, containing additional information relating to the five largest upstate metropolitan areas. __________________________________________________ Misconceptions about people in poverty appear to drive proposed changes in social welfare policy, particularly the work requirements…
  • Misconceptions About People in Poverty: The Push for Work Requirements- Misconceptions about people in poverty appear to drive proposed changes in social welfare policy, particularly the work requirements either being promoted by the Trump Administration and discussed or implemented in several states. A fuller understanding of factors underlying the problem of poverty suggests that these policies will be counterproductive, neither…
  • How Amazon Could Help Upstate New York- One of the Thanksgiving meal discussions at my house involved Amazon's new HQ2 and why Governor Cuomo didn't get the company to locate its new facility in upstate New York.  And, though my argument that upstate metropolitan areas lacked technology focused labor pools of sufficient size to be seriously considered…
  • Amazon HQ2 – A Good Deal for New York?- It is not surprising that the decision by Governor Cuomo to give Amazon $1.8 billion in grants and refundable tax credits to come to New York City for half of their second headquarters generated controversy.  Some have questioned the need to subsidize Amazon given New York’s labor pool advantages[1], and…
  • The Finger Lakes – Economic Challenges and Strategic Response: An Assessment- This research is a case study of employment challenges facing the Rochester Metropolitan area and the Finger Lakes region, and an analysis of the region’s strategic economic development plans and reports, developed in response to Governor Cuomo’s challenge to regions seeking economic development funding.  While the report finds reasons why…
  • Reconsidering “Lost Manufacturing Jobs – The Effects of Imports and Increased Productivity”- In a post examining the causes of the decline in manufacturing employment over the past fifty years, I concluded, like other analysts, that although increases in imported manufactured products had caused part of the decrease, most of the drop resulted from productivity increases from automation and process improvements.  See for…
  • Upstate’s Uneven Metropolitan Economies – Implications for Policy Makers- The story of New York’s job market since the 1990's has been a tale of two regions.  The New York City metropolitan area, where two-thirds of the state’s population lives, has seen private sector employment growth (42.4%) that is near the national rate (48.3%). Albany-Schenectady-Troy’s employment growth – 27.5% - is higher…
  • Traded Employment Losses Since 2001 in Upstate New York- Metropolitan areas in Central and Western New York, like others in the Rust Belt that had high concentrations of manufacturing employment, have been hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs.  Ninety-one thousand net manufacturing jobs were lost in the 2001-2010 decade in five upstate metropolitan areas – Utica-Rome, Syracuse,…
  • Nexgen in Syracuse – Throwing Good Money after Bad?- Update:  Note that the Syracuse Post Standard carried the following article on January 4th:  http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2018/01/ny_taxpayers_built_90m_factory_in_dewitt_for_firm_that_walked_away_didnt_create.html The article quotes ESD spokesman Jason Conwell.  "Conwall said the grant will be contingent on the company meeting its job commitments. Details of the grant's terms will not be available until the grant disbursement agreement is executed…
  • Data, Key Punches, Blogging and the Upstate Economy- Fifty years ago, as a research assistant in graduate school at Syracuse University, I did some quantitative research for a professor on the effect of various factors on state policy outputs. Doing the work required me find data in books in the university library and to go to a room in…
  • Left Behind: Characteristics of Low Labor Participation Counties- In my last post, I examined labor market participation in New York State counties.  I found that most New Yorkers, both upstate and downstate, live in counties where labor market participation differs only slightly from national levels, but upstate counties with small populations in many cases have labor participation rates…
  • Left Behind: Missing from the Labor Market in New York State- A reader of this blog recently wrote, "We know that labor force participation rates across the country have declined noticeably for a number of years, and many economists have warned of the troubling implications of this.  Such rates across Upstate NY have declined as well, and in most cases are significantly below the national average…
  • School Segregation is Increasing in New York’s Cities and Suburbs- Recent articles in the New York Times and The Nation have focused on efforts to resegregate schools in the South, by carving new predominantly white school districts out of larger county-wide school districts that are predominantly black and Hispanic.  The articles examined a recent federal court decision that permitted the creation…
  • President Trump to Upstate Residents: Move to Wisconsin- Recently, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, President Trump suggested that upstate New York residents should leave the state for Wisconsin, where a new Foxconn LCD display panel manufacturing plant will be located, creating at least 3,000 jobs.  President Trump said, "I said, you know, Gary, you go to…