Economy and Business news

Alex Crichton

Co-Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, Danny Wegman, addressed the dozens of people who gathered today at Monroe Community College for the first meeting of the council since June.

"Folks, I really believe that this process works," he said.

The Council wrapped up some recent accomplishments, such as the Genesee Brewery expansion project, a recipient of $9 million dollars through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The ongoing efforts to ramp up photonics manufacturing in the Rochester area has taken another step forward.

The New York State Photonics Board, which is coordinating the state’s financial investment in photonics, has hired a real estate firm that does site selection work to  recommend a location for what is going to be a testing, assembly and packaging facility.

The board hired Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, which is headquartered in New York City.

The U.S Postal Service is hiring a lot of seasonal employees in the Rochester area.  The agency is looking for about 500 part-time people to help them get through the holiday rush through the end  of the year.

Postal Service spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz says what’s driving the need for seasonal workers is mainly their package delivery business.

“We’re seeing double-digit increases every year as more people are shopping on the internet..."

Farm Bureau: Drought Worst in Generations

Sep 1, 2016

New York farmers are experiencing the worst drought conditions in generations, and while the industry may suffer a setback, it will persevere.

That's from Dean Norton, the President of the New York Farm Bureau, a lobbying group for agribusiness.

Norton says one immediate concern is for dairy farmers.

He says the dairy industry is going through a price downturn, and as they receive lower prices for their products, dairy farmers are also facing the prospect of a shortage of feed this fall.

Heavy Holiday Travel Expected

Sep 1, 2016

AAA is not providing any national travel projections this year, but the auto club is saying after 35 and a half million Americans traveled 50 miles or more for Labor Day, even more people are expected this year.

The lowest gas prices in 12 years helps put people in the mood to travel.

And the New York State Thruway will be especially busy.

The latest monthly survey on small business employment around the U.S. from Paychex and IHS  shows consistent growth, although the increase in jobs was nearly flat compared to the month before. The Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index was up slightly in August compared to July and up a bit compared to July of 0f last year.

Paychex CEO Marty Mucci says the sector of the economy that continues to see the strongest growth in small business jobs is the one that includes various kinds of services such as personal care or pet care.

Alex Crichton

The director of aviation at Rochester's airport is confident Monroe County will get $40 million dollars in upstate airport improvement money thanks to the plan it submitted to the state.

But Mike Giardino doesn't know when that money will be allocated.

Giardino gave an overview and plans for expansion during an address before the Rotary Club this afternoon.

He says the overall $63 million dollar plan they submitted for the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Initiative was superior.

Local officials are touting the recent announcement that a big rail equipment contract has been won by a company with a Southern Tier operation.

News of the contract that will help Alstom operations in Hornell came late last week, as part of an announcement made by Vice President Joe Biden about a nearly two and a half billion dollar loan to Amtrak from the federal government.

With that loan, Amtrak will be buying 28 trains for high speed rail service in the Northeast Corridor, and the trains will be built at Alstom’s facility in Hornell.

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.“