Central New York’s economy continues to lag behind other Upstate New York communities according to an assessment of last year’s regional economic trends from last year. Economic forecasters predict continued slow growth. But business leaders are hoping that a recent state investment into the central New York region can turn that around.
M & T Bank regional economist Gary Keith says the economic numbers from last year weren't horrible, but didn’t show a lot of growth either.
"One of the challenges we have is getting all our oars in the water, rowing in the same fashion, and frankly there were a few that were not pulling their weight, and when you have that you go in circles instead of straight ahead. And that was the tenor and tone of 2015.”
According to Keith, a speaker at Wednesday’s CenterState CEO’s economic forecast breakfast, manufacturing and service industries lagged last year. That, along with a declining workforce, created a stagnant economy, which has been the case in central New York since it’s recovery from the recession of 2008.
But that’s not the case for other upstate regions like Buffalo, which boasts job growth three times that of Syracuse in certain sectors. To catch up, Keith and CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson, believe the answer lies in the $500 million from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that’s coming to central New York.
“Our economy is at a tipping point. We have a chance right now with this investment from the state, to do something that we have never been able to do before, and might never be able to do again, and that is to radically transform the way our economy is operating. I believe we need to do everything we can collectively to seize that chance," said Simpson.