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Central New York businesses bring continued optimism into 2023

Community members gather at the OnCenter for the CenterState CEO 2023 Economic Forecast Breakfast. January 25, 2023.
Katie Zilcosky
Community members gather at the OnCenter for the CenterState CEO 2023 Economic Forecast Breakfast. January 25, 2023.

Central New York businesses are largely optimistic about the region’s economic future. CenterState CEO's annual Economic Forecast shows a continuation of positive trends across the region.

72% of those who participated in the business survey said they plan to hire more people this year. That’s up from 68% in the 2022 forecast.

The rise isn’t as sharp it’s been in past years. Between 2021 and 2022, job growth expectations jumped 29%. But CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson said the numbers are still on par or better, even if slightly tempered from 2022’s data.

"The upward trends of the past two years following the pandemic and the momentous opportunities, announced last quarter are indicative of a bold new trajectory for this region. And this trajectory is likely to dominate this forecast for years to come," Simpson said.

The optimism doesn’t mean businesses are without worry. 85% of participants expect to face challenges in hiring and retaining talent, which can inhibit growth. Simpson said the community needs to couple efforts to alleviate that pressure with investing in the people who already live in Central New York.

"Address head on those factors that are keeping millions, 3 million or more according to Luke [Tilley], out of the workforce, often women because of issues like family care, childcare, and transportation," Simpson said.

Simpson said having the talent needed for expected growth will be the single biggest determinant in the future success of the region.

Other results from the 2023 survey include:

  • Nearly 70% say their outlook for the strength of their business in 2023 is strong or very strong - similar to last year, when 72% described their business the same.
  • 73% expect sales or revenues to increase in 2023, on average by about 38%.
  • 54% expect to expand products and services this year, down about 2% from 2022.
  • 47% expect to increase capital investments this year, down 2% from 2022.
  • 84.2% said they see the Central New York economy five years from now getting better.

You can find CenterState CEO's full 2023 Economic Forecast for Central New Yorkhere.

Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.