Economy and Business news

There have been improvements in the economy of upstate New York over the last several years, but that progress has been uneven.

The unemployment rate in the Greater Rochester area fell in July to 4.7 percent;  that was down from  5.3 percent in July of  2015.  The unemployment rate for June of this year  was 4.3 percent.

State labor analyst Tammy Marino says a big reason for the year-over-year drop in the rate has been steady job growth in the private sector. 

“Employers have been hiring at a fairly good clip throughout the past seven years and with that, the local unemployment rate fell to its lowest July level in nearly a decade.“

Red Cross Relief Effort in Louisiana

Aug 24, 2016

Red Cross officials estimate the ongoing emergency relief operation underway in Louisiana could eclipse $30 million dollars.

Spokesperson for the American Red Cross of the Western and Central New York Region, Jay Bonafede, says the flooding has devastated many businesses and has impacted thousands of thousands of homes.

Local Fundraiser for Italy Earthquake Relief

Aug 24, 2016
Alex Crichton

Rochester's Italian American Community Center is raising funds to help earthquake victims in Central Italy.

The Center hosted a luncheon Wednesday with a raffle to raise money for earthquake relief.

Banquet manager Phyllis Glover says they also plan a pasta fundraiser.

"That region is noted for a specific pasta sauce and what we're going to do is authenticate it, and hold a fundraiser in their honor and hopefully help many of the victims and families in that area," she said.

The NY State Labor Department says the Rochester area saw an increase of  800 private sector jobs in July compared to this time last year. Labor department analyst Tammy Marino says the trend has been positive and it looks like that will continue for a while.  

“Employment currently stands at its highest July level since 2001. And I would actually expect that trend to continue into the coming months as we do have more and more employers looking to hire.”

Marino says a couple of sectors of the local economy saw some of the strongest gains in July.

New York State is lagging the nation in terms of job growth, although some parts of the state are doing better than others. That according to William Dudley, who is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of  New York.

In a conference call with reporters, he said that the New York City area, Buffalo and Albany have been among the metro areas in the state that have seen the strongest growth lately.

WASHINGTON (AP)  Factory activity in New York slowed in early August for the second straight month, and manufacturers in the state cut jobs. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State manufacturing index dropped to a reading of minus 4.2, from 0.6 in July. Any reading above zero points to expansion. 

Even so, new orders ticked up slightly and a measure of shipments rose to 9 from 0.7 in the previous month. Those figures suggest the broader index could pick up a bit in the coming months. 

The CEO of Rochester-based Paychex says that the new nationwide numbers on employment reflect what his company is seeing among the small businesses they serve. Numbers released by the federal government on Friday show that employers added 255,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate in July remained at 4.9 percent.

A new report from the New York Federal Reserve looks at trends involving household debt and borrowing.

The report, which looks at data as of the fourth quarter of last year,  includes information about mortgages, home equity lines, student loans, credit cards and delinquency rates.

The University of Rochester is going to be receiving $2 million in federal money for photonics research. That according to New York Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who says the money from the National Science Foundation  will allow researchers to further investigate challenges in quantum photonics.

The research is expected to result in a new class of technologies and it's aimed at transforming information processing for things like secure communications and advanced computing.