WXXI photo

The latest numbers on job growth in New York state continue to show the negative impact of the coronavirus.

Since the end of the Great Recession several years ago, the job growth numbers in the Rochester metro and much of the state, generally have seen gains in the monthly statistics released by the New York Department of Labor.

But with the shutdowns caused by the pandemic, that scenario saw a big shift in the last couple of months.

New York Department of Labor

The latest monthly unemployment numbers are out from the New York State Labor Department, and the Rochester region saw a steep increase in the jobless rate in April, as did many regions around the state.

The unemployment rate for the Rochester metro was 14.9% compared to a 3.7% unemployment rate a year ago.

The number of unemployed people in the Rochester area rose by more than 55,000 over the last year, to nearly 75,000 individuals who were unemployed last month.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in April was 14.5%.

WXXI photo

Recent numbers from the New York State Labor Department show a big downturn in jobs in the Rochester area.

While that’s not a surprise, given the pandemic, one local expert sees some hope for the future.

The monthly job numbers for the Rochester metro and most of the state have shown consistent job growth for several years. But that trend ended in April, with the arrival of the coronavirus, which shuttered many small businesses.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, it looks like the economic downturn could last a bit. A Cornell University economics  professor says that it may take up to a few years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Plus, local and regional amusement parks are still closed due to the pandemic, but they are looking at how they might safely open up again when they get the ok.

Also, if you're looking for a job, Spectrum is hiring 'virtually' in the Rochester area.


Jared Valentine used to own a restaurant, and he has marketing experience, but in recent years, he’s been working gigs whenever he can get them. 

After he lost his seasonal job in Zagster’s operations department due to the bike-share company leaving Rochester, he found himself looking for work immediately. 

He recently answered an ad for a per diem position called "COVID relief" with Rochester Regional Health. He said he wanted to pitch in on the front lines of the pandemic. 

His interview started with a phone call.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, we have reaction by area business leaders to the coronavirus and find out how it might affect local small businesses and other parts of the area's economy.

Plus, a new Wall Street Journal survey gives poor marks to the Rochester job market, but a couple of local experts have a different view; and Charter Communications sets up a $10 million community investment fund for the areas where Spectrum does business.

Have you ever considered a midlife career shift? According to the Atlantic Monthly, switching careers in your 40s, 50s, or 60s can be beneficial for cognition, well-being, and even longevity. But, it may also come with challenges: how to enter a new industry; how to adapt to unfamiliar technology or resources; or how to get out of your comfort zone.

This hour, we sit down with two people who had had successful career reboots. They share their stories, and we hear from a career coach who shares her expertise. In studio:

  • Mike Johansson, former journalist who began a new career as a lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Norma Holland, former journalist who began a new career at a digital marketing company called Digital Hyve
  • Kathleen Pringle, premier career management strategist and coach at the Kathleen Pringle Group

In the latest WXXI Business Report, Kodak will continue providng film to the major Hollywood studios, find out how important that relationsihp is to the comapny. 

Plus, even though there was job growth over the last year in Rochester, the latest monthly unemployment rate went up slightly. Also, get details on Bausch + Lomb teaming up with a non-profit organization to raise awareness about age-related macular degeneration.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, Randy Gorbman has the latest data from the New York state Labor Department, and there's good news - a record amount of job growth in December for the Rochester metro area.

Plus, a new report from the realty firm CBRE shows declining vacancy rates in the Rochester area for commercial space which points to companies looking to expand; and a security company expands through an acquisition.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, Randy Gorbman has details on the money Constellation Brands is spending to market its new hard seltzer product.

How do we keep more skilled employees in Rochester? A local coalition of economic development agencies is looking for ways to do that.

Plus, the Wegmans School of Pharmacy gets a big donation to help promote medical missions and other activities for students.