New York's Jobs Deficit
Going into the 2012 legislative session, almost everyone’s focus will be on jobs.
While New York can do little to change national and international economic trends, it can have a dramatic impact on the state’s economic climate. Changes must be adopted to make New York’s economic climate more competitive and encourage future growth.
New York has many economic advantages, including a skilled workforce, strong higher education, ample natural resources, and proximity to major markets.
But New York’s economic performance has been unacceptable. Private sector job growth has lagged behind national levels for more than a generation. Since 1960, U.S. job growth has been four times that in New York State. Furthermore, we have done poorly in both the number and quality of jobs. In the last decade, New York lost 496,000 jobs in the state’s eight top paying private sector industries - finance/insurance, management/administration, utilities, information, professional/tech service, wholesale trade, construction and manufacturing. These sectors pay high salaries and produce significant tax revenues and economic spin-offs.
In contrast, virtually all job growth in New York in the last ten years has been in below average wage sectors, including health and social services, which rely on significant government funding.
New York is replacing high paying jobs with lower paying jobs. It is replacing jobs that compete in the international economy with jobs that are tied to local markets and state and local government funding.
New York has a high state and local business tax burden; among the highest energy costs in the nation; stringent, complex and expensive regulatory requirements; an adverse labor law and liability climate; and other state-imposed barriers to new investment and the creation and retention of private sector jobs.
Based on this experience, it is obvious that we need to improve the state’s overall economic climate. Economic growth is the only long-term means to improving the well being of New Yorkers and assuring adequate and appropriate government services and public infrastructure.