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Syracuse Region Economy Growth Far Outpacing Other Upstate Cities: 2019 Centerstate CEO Data

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Economic data for the last year show the Syracuse economy enjoyed one of its best period of success in a long time.  And officials at Centerstate C-E-O that released the numbers hope it has promise for extended growth into the future.  President Rob Simpson calls the uptick in jobs and wages remarkable.

“It’s one thing for Syracuse and Central New York to be growing our economy.  It’s another thing to be growing on average at 3.5 times the other Upstate metros.  And it’s another thing to be growing almost double the New York State growth rate.  Syracuse is an outlier in exceptional performance over the course of 2019.”

Credit Centerstate CEO
Syracuse job grwoth outpaced - by 2-3 times - that of other Upstate cities and the state average for every month in 2019, between January and October. (click to expand)

The data show that Syracuse enjoyed greater job growth in every month from January through October of last year.  Simpson adds it was pretty widespread, with health care and educational services leading the way, but also jobs created in manufacturing and transportation.

Of course after noting that success, the next question is ‘why?’  Simpson says you have to look back a bit -- 10 to 15 years of investing in innovation that’s starting to pay off.

“Yes it comes in our innovative start-up eco-system that we see in places like the tech garden where start-up companies are taking root and getting venture capital.  That’s a whole new component of our economy that 10 years ago didn’t even exist and it now is really driving a significant part of job growth.  But it’s also innovation in existing businesses.”

Simpson gives as an example JMA Wireless in Syracuse, at the leading edge of 5-G technologies, along wiht other businesses making globally-relevant products.  He further believes the impact of almost a year’s worth of ‘beating the averages’ on job growth holds promise for longer term Syracuse success. 

“Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, each of those metro areas is projected to lose population in the latest census estimates, and Syracuse and Onondaga County are growing our population.  The statistic that resonates with me over the last 5 years, is that we’ve seen a 5.2% increase in our population of people who are age 25-34, in their prime working years.  These are people who are primed to have children, buy homes and is a really healthy sign for our Central New York economy.” 

Simpson has the job of cheer-leading for the region.  But he says this data shows that the vision he and other business leaders have been promoting for years is coming true.  And he hopes to use that to convince companies that their vision can also come true by staying or moving to the Syracuse region. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.