Economic Development

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  • Local Leaders’ Role in Combating the Economic Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic -  The Covid-19 health response has shut down New York’s local economies.  With most business activities on pause, local government leaders should be addressing the economic impact now and preparing for the time when businesses are permitted to reopen. To date, the health impact of the virus in Upstate New York…
  • Countering the Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic - We have seen alarming estimates of the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on disease and death, as well as on our economy.  Some have suggested that more than half of our population could be infected - more than 160 million people and that one or two percent of those…
  • Income Inequality in Metropolitan Areas - In many respects, the American economy has done extraordinarily well since the great recession of 2008. We have seen a long period of growth in employment, while unemployment has dropped to levels not seen in many decades. But this period has also seen a troubling increase in income polarization, which…
  • New York’s Amazon Debacle – Some Lessons - Predictably, Amazon's decision to abandon its HQ2 project with 25,000+ future jobs in New York City  led to acrimony with opposing politicians and some commentators blaming the company for abandoning its effort.   Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an early project opponent tried to re-frame her stance saying, "We do not have to…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • The Income Gap between Men and Women: 2015 vs. 1970 - Since 1970,  inflation adjusted wage income growth has been almost nonexistent - only five percent over the 45 year period ending in 2015.  Income change in metropolitan areas in New York State has differed little from the nation.  Rochester and Buffalo were two exceptions - both had lower median real wage…
  • Education, Age and Declines in Real Income Since 1970 - The economic malaise that has affected small and medium sized rust belt cities since 2000 has been widely noted.  Most have seen little or no real household income growth since then.  Much of the weak performance has been associated with the long-term decline of manufacturing employment in the region –…
  • Response to Lost Manufacturing Jobs – The Effects of Imports and Increased Productivity - I’d like to thank Kay Wilkie, who serves on the United States Trade Representative’s Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee for offering useful comments concerning my post, “Lost Manufacturing Jobs – The Effects of Imports and Increased Productivity”  Kay points out that “It would be worthwhile to carefully examine and review the aspects…
  • Lost Manufacturing Jobs – The Effects of Imports and Increased Productivity - Note - See an important revision of this post here:  https://policybynumbers.com/reconsidering-lost-manufacturing-jobs-the-effects-of-imports-and-increased-productivity The decline in manufacturing employment in the United States has caused a wrenching economic adjustment, as one path to relatively well paying jobs has narrowed, particularly for workers without college educations.  As the percentage of workers in our society…
  • As Private Sector Employee Incomes Stagnate, Local Government Workers Prosper - The slow growth of worker incomes since 2000 has been the subject of intense policy and political debates.  One of the clear messages of the 2012 Presidential campaign was the call to remedy perceived distortions in world trade that have disadvantaged American workers, particularly those had in the past held…