State Comptroller Releases Western New York Job Audit On Labor Day

ALBANY-A report by the state comptroller’s office released on Labor Day revealed the number of jobs have decreased in areas like Western New York despite the decrease in the unemployment rate. 

“New York’s diverse workforce is a key strength as we compete in today’s global economy,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “Statewide, employment is growing and unemployment shrinking. But ensuring good job opportunities for all New Yorkers remains a challenge.”

DiNapoli said factors could include worker migration or workers dropping out of the labor force. A shrinking workforce can dampen economic growth, affecting the vitality of local communities and raising fiscal issues at state and local levels.

Other findings include:

  • Long Island had the highest labor force participation rate of any region in 2016, at 63.8 percent. Participation rates in the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley also topped 60 percent, followed by New York City;
  • The total number of employed workers declined in the Southern Tier, the North Country, the Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Western New York from 2011 to 2016, while increasing in other regions of the state;
  • As of 2016, more than 913,000 New Yorkers were unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force or working part-time for economic reasons;
  • The workforce is aging in New York and nationally, with the number of workers aged 65 and over rising by 26 percent in New York over the past five years, compared to a 19 percent increase nationwide;
  • Statewide, women constitute nearly 48 percent of the labor force, slightly higher than the national average;
  • New York’s labor force is well educated, with 40.6 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 34.7 percent nationwide; and
  • Nearly 24 percent of workers in New York belonged to unions in 2016, the highest participation rate of any state and more than double the national figure.