Investigative Post: “Job growth across upstate New York remains sluggish despite billions in economic development subsidies”

This is the first part of a series that runs through Thursday. The full lineup of stories, columns and radio interviews can be found here »

March 28, 2017

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sunk a lot of taxpayer money – $25 billion by his estimate – into recharging upstate’s moribund economy.

The governor has increased spending on subsidy programs to record levels, launched bold policy initiatives and crisscrossed upstate to announced projects he has frequently described as “game-changers.”

“Economic success is shared all across the state. It’s not just New York City that’s doing well, it’s the entire state,” the governor declared in his 2017 State of the State address in Syracuse.

That’s the rhetoric. The reality, as borne out by employment data, is decidedly different.

Employment upstate has grown by only 2.7 percent during Cuomo’s tenure – compared with 13.1 percent downstate and 11 percent nationally. Four of upstate’s 12 major metropolitan areas have actually lost jobs since Cuomo took office.

If it were a state, upstate’s job growth would rank fourth-worst in the nation, below, among others, Mississippi.

What’s more, 88 percent of the net jobs added upstate during the Cuomo years have been in low-wage sectors, led by restaurants and bars, employment data shows.

….“The governor has certainly ramped up economic development spending more than any governor in my 25-year history in Albany,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, a labor-backed think tank.  (read full article)

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