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New York Fed Report: Rochester economy seeing slow job growth

 Downtown Rochester skyline view.
Max Schulte
Downtown Rochester skyline view.

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has found that while the upstate economy fared pretty well during the last business cycle, the economy in Western New York is not as robust.

New York Federal Reserve senior economist Richard Deitz says while a lot of the jobs lost during the recession in Upstate New York have come back, there is still weakness, mainly in Rochester and Buffalo.

“In Rochester, we’re still seeing declines in manufacturing, the area’s lost more than four thousand jobs in manufacturing since 2010, but we’re also seeing some weakness emerging in the business services sector and even the retail sector,” Deitz told WXXI News.

Deitz says that the decline in manufacturing locally is part of the ongoing transformation in the economy. He says there have been good paying jobs created in some high tech industries, but it takes a while for that kind of employment to build up.

“Often at these beginning stages, particularly with things like this, photonics and optics and imaging , the number of jobs created initially are kind of small, they’re usually very good paying jobs in these kinds of arenas, so it may take a little while to build up, but at the moment, it’s not enough to compensate for some of the losses in manufacturing and in business services and in retail.”

A separate survey, the monthly jobs report from the NYS Labor Department, shows the Rochester metro lost 3,100 jobs in September compared to a year ago, a trend that has been seen all year.

But NYS Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says that other measures her office looks at, show that the local job market is actually doing fairly well.

“Unemployment insurance claims are down, they’ve been down fairly consistently in recent years and in recent months as well and the quarterly census of employment and wages indicates that the local job market is still expanding.”

Marino says construction and health care have also seen strong hiring locally in recent months.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.