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Upstate NY lost 1 in 5 manufacturing jobs: Fed study
December 18, 2007 / 9:52 PM / 10 years ago

Upstate NY lost 1 in 5 manufacturing jobs: Fed study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Update New York lost one of every five manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2006 and the declines will likely continue though employment is rising in finance, education, health care and leisure, a regional Federal Reserve report said on Tuesday.

If the current trend continues, the region should add 20,000 net jobs and the growth of the service sector, which includes hospitality, will help transform its manufacturing base, which has shed 85,000 jobs, the report said.

The two main risks appear the national housing slowdown and the shakeout on Wall Street, which would hurt the downstate area more, but still crimp upstate New York’s financial services sector, the report by the Buffalo Federal Reserve said.

For decades, the upstate economy has suffered the same sort of losses seen throughout the U.S. Midwest, where many industrial companies have lost the race to overseas competitors or shifted jobs to countries where labor costs are lower and unions less forceful.

The upstate economy’s problems have led jobseekers to look elsewhere. Buffalo, for example, saw its household population fall by nearly 34,000 to 247,997 from 2000 to 2006, according to the U.S. Census. But cities, towns and counties often are unable to curb spending, which puts more burdens on fewer local taxpayers and further drains the economy.

Since 2000, employment in Buffalo was flat or down slightly, and only grew modestly in the first half of 2007, as the service sector expanded and whole sale trade jobs got a boost from the strong Canadian dollar.

Rochester was among the hardest hit regions in upstate New York as jobs at its durable goods makers fell by more than 30 percent from 2000 to 2006, though employment edged up in 2007, according to the report.

Syracuse’s “relatively diversified” economy has only seen a modest recovery, though Glens Falls has enjoyed “brisk” job growth in construction, education and health services. “This area has been one of the upstate’s strongest economies throughout the decade,” the report said.

While Ithaca has seen several sectors weaken -- manufacturing, information, leisure and hospitality, it is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College, which have added jobs.

Albany has expanded jobs modestly since 2000, led by education, professional and technical services, which reflect its research cluster, the report said.

Binghamton, hit with “sizable” job losses during the 2001-02 downturn, saw the declines continue into 2005. But since then, jobs have rebounded, especially in private education services and electronic equipment makers.

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