Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate failure

In Breaking News by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Crain’s New York Business – August 29, 2016

Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate failure

The governor proposed to revive the economy and so far he hasn’t

When then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo ran for governor in 2010, he promised to revive the moribund upstate economy. A new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli shows that effort has essentially failed.

The comptroller looked at job growth in each upstate region from June 2009 when the national recession ended to June 2016. Only three regions show any increase, and three areas—the one north of Albany, the Mohawk Valley along the Erie Canal and the Southern Tier—have seen significant declines despite the national recovery. In all, upstate has gained 10,000 jobs—a minuscule number—and remains well below its pre-recession level.

Comptroller DiNapoli avoided other comparisons. He’s probably tired of the sniping he routinely gets from the governor and Cuomo’s aides. But I looked at the same period for New York City and as you can see, this is really a tale of two regions. (The suburbs have modest job gains.)

Upstate vs. NYC job growth, Jun. ’09-Jun. ’16

Region Change # Change %
Upstate 10,000 2%
NYC 614,000 17%

Regional trend, Jun. ’09-Jun. ’16

Region Change #
Capital Region 11,600
Finger Lakes 9,500
Western NY 8,400
Central NY -1,700
Upper Hudson Valley -1,700
North Country -3,100
Mohawk Valley -5,000
Southern Tier -7,500

Source: New York State Comptroller, New York City Department of Labor

Challenged on the governor’s record upstate recently, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed out that the administration has spent $4 billion in efforts to spur its economy, including the Buffalo Billion now under investigation by the U.S. attorney. Defending the ROI (return on investment) on that money is an impossible task.

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