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Old 09-03-2011, 09:40 AM
17 posts, read 29,530 times
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What is the current state of the local economy and job market; as well as five years into the future?
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:46 PM
169 posts, read 440,668 times
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The economic news coming out of Rochester lately has been very good. Small businesses seem to be absorbing the relatively well-educated work force (after the collapse of the local big 3) and the housing market, even if unremarkable, is pretty steady. Healthcare, education, boutique manufacturing, small-scale finance and high technology (especially tech companies built around optics) seem to be the sectors to watch. Also, Rochester needs to capitalize more on its being the gateway to the finger lakes food and wine industry/culture. There really seems to be nothing in Rochester's way for its becoming the dominant regional economic power - say, a smallish Pittsburgh. Its economy appears to have eclipsed Buffalo's, and Syracuse is too small to be a real contender. There is a lot of local wealth too that could finance a real resurgence, without resort to NYC etc. The main drawback I see if a general lack of faith/self-esteem and economic conservatism, which undercuts entrepreneurial activity and the financing of that activity.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:49 PM
Location: Rochester NY (western NY)
1,021 posts, read 1,706,729 times
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Laughable at best, just like the rest of the country.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:02 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
1,624 posts, read 2,908,097 times
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Rochester is still down tens of thousands of jobs from 2000, in facr the economy never recovered from that recession. The 25~44 demographic has fled the area over the past 15~20 years, as folks looked elsewhere for economic opportunities that Rochester simply could not offer for a lot of skilled and even mid~career folks

There's very little holding back the area from a local standpoint, besides the unions and other entrenched special inteests who want to keep the status quo. Albany and the downstaters who really run NY are mostly to blame for Upstate's decline. Local shakedown artists, cloaked as "non~profits", don't help much, either.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:09 PM
5,265 posts, read 15,427,668 times
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You asked this question in another thread and I shall give the same response...numbers don't lie.
Rochester leads New York in job growth | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com

This region gained jobs at a higher rate than anywhere else in the state over the last year...and get this, also eclipsed the job-growth rate of Raleigh and Charlotte (two regions that many posters on these forums seem to think are economic powerhouses compared to Rochester) AND has a lower unemployment rate than both of them as well (per the BLS website)......in fact Rochester had more than triple the job growth rate of Charlotte (2.1% vs .6%)

Rochester, NY Economy at a Glance

Raleigh-Cary, NC Economy at a Glance

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC Economy at a Glance

Rochester never recovered from the 2001 recession...this is a reasonable statement. What is also a reasonable statement is that the "recovery" that most of the rest of the country rode from then until 2007 was based off of an inflated and over-speculative real estate and investment/financial market....and then when that facade crumbled, we didn't fall as hard as the rest of the country did and are now, in turn, enjoying a much easier and more pronounced recovery than most of the sunbelt and other hot-spot areas of the early/mid 2000s.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:34 AM
169 posts, read 440,668 times
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Here is a quote from a report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

"Recently, the BEA began to publish experimental GDP
data for 363 metropolitan areas, and these data are now available for the 2001-06 period (see box). These new measures of GDP provide a way to ascertain the size of a region’s economy. Upstate
New York’s nine metropolitan areas produced a total of $168.2 billion of goods and services in 2006 (Table 1). Of these areas, Rochester’s economy ranks as the largest, with
approximately $43.1 billion of output in 2006, followed by Buffalo’s $40.6 billion. The next largest metropolitan economy was Albany, which produced $35.9 billion, followed
by Syracuse at a significantly smaller $24.4 billion. Each of
these four metropolitan areas ranks among the 100 largest
nationwide in terms of output—Rochester is fifty-second,
Buffalo fifty-fifth, Albany fifty-eighth, and Syracuse eightieth.
The remaining metropolitan areas in upstate New York—
Utica, Binghamton, Glens Falls, Ithaca, and Elmira—are relatively small . . . ."
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:50 AM
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Rochester has 11,100 more jobs this year than last. We've done a great job absorbing 51,000 ex Kodakers, 8,000 ex Xeroxers and many others. Rochester has a long history of creating new jobs. We have 34 companies on the current INC 5000 list of the nation's fastest growing companies. And as of the 2010 census, the Rochester metro continues to grow.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:32 AM
Location: Rochester, NY
205 posts, read 423,785 times
Reputation: 251
Very nice! The level of responses in here (save a few) match my experience of the intelligence I see in the workforce in Rochester - which is strong.

So, reading over this data I'm left with the impression that Rochester is a "slow and steady" kinda economy. Yes, it took some licks back in 2000, but since then it's been chuggin' along. I've only been here since 2009 (leaving originally in 1988), so I can only comment on the last few years. From my perspective, the statements above are true. The small businesses are filling the void left from the disappearing giants. Is this the most efficient way to grow - probably not. But it get's the job done.

The only downside I've seen from the shift from big employers to small business employers is the impact it has had on midtown / downtown. This is just a hypothesis, so tell me what you guys think: Small businesses are much less likely than large corporations to put an office in downtown due to the costs. As a result, we have the small businesses sprouting up in suburban sprawly, 2-story office parks all around the outer rim of the city. While I welcome these jobs, I sure wish there was a way for them to be downtown so we could start drawing people back there. Our downtown has some FANTASTIC bones (i.e., old, beautiful buildings). We just need to add workers!

P.S. I'm fascinated by how much time some of you senior members put into this forum, which is nationally owned / run. Why not join up and put all this great content on a local forum controlled by Rochesterians?
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:24 AM
169 posts, read 440,668 times
Reputation: 131
Coming from a family that escaped communism in 1960's, I am a big believer in markets over central planning as a device for allocating goods and services in a society. It seems to me that trying to "move" business from the southeast suburbs (where people prefer to live and work) to the downtown core (where obviously they do not) is a fool's errand because it essentially robs peter to pay paul when enhancing the welfare of both individuals is what's really at stake. The key question to me from a market perspective is why isn't more business moving into the downtown core? I haven't done any studies but it seems doubtful to me that the relative cost of office space is a material factor here, insofar as quality commercial space in , say, Pittsford, probably costs at least as much (save perhaps for the truly grade A properties downtown). My personal sense is that the "solution" to the downtown issue should be addressed from the demand side of the curve: if you had a small business, where would you locate it and why?
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:36 AM
Location: Rochester, NY
205 posts, read 423,785 times
Reputation: 251
LOL... That's funny... I do own a small business, and I did put it in the city.

But I hear you. And I am NOT a "big government" guy - so what you're saying makes sense to me. I guess I just don't understand why the demand-side forces are not there? Do people really enjoy 8 lanes of congested suburban blandness where every big-box store looks just like every other city in America? Nobody will EVER come to Rochester because we have a Best-Buy, Target, Wegmans and Mall in an ugly spot that used to be a swamp (i.e., Henrietta). Heck, every city has that... LOL

However, people do travel to San Antonio or Oklahoma City, both of whom re-watered their old canal systems and put forth a big effort to get retail back downtown so that there were things to visits / see / do... They now have significant economic benefits from conventions and tourism. Those cities were once just like Rochester, but they made different decisions that helped create the DEMAND referenced above.

Why is there no interest in the character, aesthetic, dare I say "soul" of Rochester - which clearly resides in the 200 year old history that is our downtown.

FYI - Rents are a bit higher in the city, but I obviously decided it was the right investment for our staff and for the city.

P.S. When we hire new employees, most of whom worked out in Henrietta or Victor, they say "wow - it's so cool to have coffee shops, restaurants and stores to walk to nearby."
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