Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 erased New York’s Employment Gains over the Past Decade - From June 2011 to June 2019, New York saw employment increase by 388,440 - 4.4%. But by June 2021, the pandemic had erased all those gains. In June, the state's employment was lower than in 2011 - by 72,916 jobs or 0.8%. Both before the COVID pandemic and in June…
  • New York’s Population Increased by 823,147 between 2010 and 2020 while Upstate’s Declined - Based on the newly released 2020 Census data, New York's population grew by 823,147 residents - 4.25% - between 2010 and 2020. The State's performance was similar to others in its region and not far from the median growth rate for all states - 5.9%. But, more than three-quarters of…
  • Empire Center Article Questioning New York’s Nursing Home Staffing Law Misstates Evidence - The Empire Center's Bill Hammond published an article, "A Study of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes Raises Doubt About New York’s Minimum Staffing Law," that argues that "A newly published study of COVID-19 in nursing homes links larger numbers of employees to higher rates of infection and death for residents –…
  • COVID Cases are Still at a High Level – Are Vaccines Making a Difference? - COVID Infection Rates Have Plateaued at a High Level Although forty percent of eligible Americans have received at least one COVID vaccine injection, the number of cases has plateaued as of late April. The most recent available data shows that the number of new infections on April 20th was 20…
  • Was Cuomo’s COVID Mandate Associated with Nursing Home Deaths? A Correction - I recently wrote about the relationship between Governor Cuomo’s policy requiring nursing homes to accept new residents discharged from hospitals with positive COVID-19 test results. The policy was in place from March to early May 2020. I compared my results with those of a study by Bill Hammond and Ian…
  • The Empire Center’s Report on Nursing Home Deaths Answers Some Questions, Raises Others - The Empire Center's February 18th Report, "COVID-positive Admissions Were Correlated with Higher Death Rates in New York Nursing Homes" shows an association between COVID-positive admissions and death rates in nursing homes in New York State, following the State Health Department order on March 25th, 2020 requiring that they accept recovering…
  • Cuomo’s Nursing Home Controversy – What does the Data Show? - Questions have been raised since last Summer about New York's published count of nursing home resident deaths. The State had claimed until this month that nursing home deaths stood at only 7,491, a relatively low rate compared to other states across the nation. This, despite Governor Cuomo's health department directive…
  • The Botched COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: 100 Million Doses in 100 Days Isn’t Enough - The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York State and elsewhere has been marred by confusion and limited supplies of vaccines. In New York, the state portal does not provide an easy way for people to identify all the locations that have the vaccine, or to sign-up, other than…
  • Poverty in Upstate Metropolitan Areas: Myths and Realities - We live in an era in which long-held attitudes about race have been heightened by political campaigns that attempt to mobilize fears among white voters about minority group members and immigrants.  These appeals have ranged from claims that President Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya and claims…
  • New York’s Explosion of COVID Cases and a Flawed Vaccine Roll-Out - When Covid-19 first appeared in New York in March of this year, the state, like other locations, faced a novel disease against which there were few defenses. New York faced a dire situation in March - hospitals in the New York Metropolitan area were overwhelmed.  With cases and hospitalizations skyrocketing,…
  • COVID-19: The Harsh Tradeoffs - COVID-19 created a series of dilemmas for policymakers at the state and federal levels.  Actions that would reduce the frequency of infection involved measures that would limit personal interactions, causing the loss of jobs, while reopening the economy proved to result in higher levels of infection, hospitalizations and deaths. But,…
  • Commentary: Emphasis on Polling Hurts Public Confidence in Process - Opinion piece in Albany Times-Union, Wednesday, November 18, 2020 https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Commentary-Emphasis-on-polling-hurts-public-15734913.php
  • Persistent Errors by Pollsters Favored Democrats in the 2020 Election - Pollsters consistently overestimated the share of votes for President-Elect Joe Biden and Democratic Senatorial candidates in the 2020 election.  While polls correctly predicted Biden's victory, polling averages overestimated his margins in states he won and underestimated Donald Trump's margins in states that Trump won. The errors were not the result…
  • Positive COVID Tests and Hospitalizations More than Doubled In New York After September 1st - The number of COVID-19 positive tests and hospitalizations in New York State has sharply increased since September 1st.  The number of daily positive tests identified on October 28th was 1,739, compared with 677 on September 1st - an increase of 157%.  Current hospitalizations increased from 457 to 1,042 during the…
  • New York State Gave $2.6 Million to Build a Food Greenhouse that Pays One Dollar Above the Minimum Wage - In April of this year, Green Empire Farms in the central New York city of Oneida became notorious as the location of more than 170 Covid-19 cases.  The facility is a massive 2.8 million square foot greenhouse where vegetables and fruit, including strawberries and cucumbers, are produced.  County health officials…