Private sector employment in the Southern Tier fell over the year by 800, or 0.3 percent, to 230,600 in March 2014. Job gains were largest in leisure and hospitality (+900) and professional and business services (+700). Job losses were centered in educational and health services (-1,500) , manufacturing (-400), trade, transportation and utilities (-300) and natural resources, mining and construction (-200). Government employment declined (-300) over the year.
By Christian Harris, Labor Market Analyst, Southern Tier
(Excerpted from the September 2012 issue of the Employment in New York State newsletter)
More than three years after the official end of the “Great Recession” in the U.S., the Southern Tier’s economy continues to slowly recover from the lingering effects of the downturn. From 2010 to 2011, the overall private sector job count in the Southern Tier (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties) increased by nearly 1,200, or 0.6%, to just under 210,000. The three counties in the region with the fastest private sector job growth in 2010-2011 were:
All three counties grew faster than the state (+2.0%) and nation (+1.8%) in 2011.
The Southern Tier’s higher education system is a key contributor to the region’s economic success. Not only is the region home to several internationally-recognized universities, it also has a number of community colleges and training providers who offer instruction in a broad range of technical fields. Moreover, higher education (public and private) accounts for more than 20,000 jobs in the Southern Tier, or about 1 out of every 12 jobs in the region.
Higher education in the region recently got a boost when Binghamton University’s NYSUNY 2020 plan was approved. Under the plan, the university will hire new researchers and faculty; expand its academic offerings and facilities, foster public/private research partnerships, and expand high-tech fields, including a new $70 million Smart Energy Center. New tuition revenue will also allow the university to increase enrollment by 2,000 students and hire 150 new faculty members between 2012 and 2016. The initiative is expected to create more than 800 jobs.
An article in the June 2012 issue of this newsletter discussed the rapid growth of the state’s Greek yogurt industry. Chobani, the largest Greek yogurt maker in the nation, was launched in 2007 at an old Kraft Foods plant in the Chenango County village of New Berlin. Today, Chobani has a 17% share of the overall U.S. yogurt market, which is more than double the share of the next most popular brand, Yoplait Original, made by General Mills.
Over the past five years, the company has invested around $115 million in property and plant improvements. Chobani is installing new machinery as part of an 80,000-square-foot addition to their existing plant. The expansion, including the acquisition of 100 acres of land adjacent to the current facility, has a total project cost of $88.5 million. The New Berlin plant, which employs more than 1,000 workers, bustles with 14 production lines that ship Greek yogurt around the world.
In addition, Chobani was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as one of its SBA 100 companies, which features 100 firms that created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance. The company also ranked high (#117) on Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, based on its rapid revenue growth. According to the magazine, Chobani’s revenues grew by 2,662% over a three-year period to $633.9 million! This was the strongest growth in the Southern Tier, and 5th strongest in New York State.
Like most areas in the nation, the Southern Tier’s public sector has been the weak link during the current recovery; between 2010 and 2011, government at all levels shed more than 1,700 jobs. Most job cuts have been at the local level (-1,300), as municipalities and school districts face increasingly tight budgets. Summary The Southern Tier’s economy continues to slowly recover from the “Great Recession.” While the region has not yet fully bounced back from the downturn, ongoing strength in the Southern Tier’s higher education and dairy manufacturing industries should help grow the region’s employment base and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
The Southern Tier’s economy continues to slowly recover from the “Great Recession.” While the region has not yet fully bounced back from the downturn, ongoing strength in the Southern Tier’s higher education and dairy manufacturing industries should help grow the region’s employment base and provide a much needed boost to the local economy.
If you have any further questions regarding the Southern Tier Labor Market, please contact:Christian Harris
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