More confidence seen in central New York economy for 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Centerstate CEO President Rob Simpson
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Going in to 2015, there is more confidence in central New York’s economy to be found in an annual business survey.

Last year, there was only limited optimism among economists and business leaders for economic growth in the region. But CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson says he has much more confidence for 2015.

"A much different picture than we heard last year and the anecdotal sense of confidence I hear from members of the business community is a marked difference from last year," he said Thursday. 

CenterState, a chamber of commerce and then some for the area, put out an annual forecast report based on surveys of 230 business leaders. Slightly over half the companies polled say they plan to hire this year. Even more companies, 78 percent, say they’ll at least maintain their workforce, which if not great news, is decent.

"The fact that you’re maintaining is the first place to start. Because once you maintain, then you start growing and then you start hiring," said Becca Dernberger, with the job placement first Manpower Group.

Increased profit projections are at the highest they’ve been since before the last recession. Simpson says increased spending and consumer demand will eventually lead to job growth.

"First and foremost, job growth stems from consumer demand and as consumers inside the region and outside the region demand more, employers will invest more and they will hire more," he said. 

That’s good news after Syracuse was one of the few parts of upstate New York to lose jobs almost every month last year. Most upstate metropolitan regions, like Buffalo and Albany, were able to add jobs in the private sector last year. Syracuse stagnated.

About two-thirds of central New York businesses experienced growth last year, according to the survey. That's up a few percentage points from the 58 percent that grew in 2013.

Here's the full forecast report:

CenterState CEO 2015 Economic Forecast