Economy and Business news

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Maple syrup production in New York state reached its highest level in seven decades despite a late season bought on by the lingering winter. 

State officials say New York farmers this year produced a record 601,000 gallons of maple syrup from more than 2.3 million taps. The production level was up 10 percent from last year. 

The United States Department of Agriculture reported last week that national maple syrup production was up 6.3 percent this season from a year ago. 

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The Rochester area unemployment rate fell again in May. It was at 5.1 percent, compared to the  5.7 percent rate at this time a year ago. The April rate was 5.2 percent.

State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says the fact we saw an additional 7100 private sector jobs in May compared to a year ago, is reflected in those numbers.

"We certainly have more employers hiring and the employees that are hiring represent a very diverse group of employers and as a result, the local jobless rate fell to its lowest May level since before the onset of the recession."

Bank Warns Of Robocall Fraud Attempts

Jun 22, 2015

Maybe you received a call.

M and T Bank says someone is cold-calling people trying to scam personal information.

The people trying to pull this scam will seemingly do or say anything to separate you from vital personal information.

M and T bank says someone is calling with a recorded message saying they are from the bank and there is a problem with an account. They are asking for information such as the card number, PIN and expiration date. The information is then used to make illegal cash withdrawals.

Rochester-based Home Properties is being acquired by a private equity firm. Lone Star Funds will buy the locally based real estate investment trust for about $7.6 billion including debt.

Home Properties will become a privately held company after the deal closes by the end of the year.

The latest numbers from the NYS Labor Department show continued growth in the Rochester area job market.  The region saw a gain of 7100 private sector jobs in May compared to this time last year.

State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says that one encouraging sign is that more sectors of the local economy are starting to see gains, as well as the usual growth areas.

The call to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York to $15.00 an hour came Wednesday from local religious leaders, and workers in the industry.

They gathered at the South Wedge Mission to challenge state leaders to pay families a wage that meets basic needs.

The Rev. Marvin McMickle is president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and member of the steering committee of the Rochester anti-poverty task force.

Eastman Business Park

There is another  company that wants to start up a medical marijuana operation at the Eastman Business Park.

This firm is called Columbia Care, and it’s a New York City based business founded by two former Goldman Sachs executives. They have signed an agreement with Kodak to repurpose a building at the business park that previously was used for film manufacturing and finishing.

Columbia Care says it has created one of the largest national medical marijuana patient registries with data from more than 20 states.

WASHINGTON (AP)  Factory activity in New York state contracted in June, a sign that manufacturers are likely still held back by a strong dollar and cutbacks in investment by oil and gas drillers. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State manufacturing index fell to negative 2 this month, down from plus 3 in May. Any reading above zero indicates expansion.

A new survey on summer job prospects has brought some national attention to Rochester.

OLEDWorks, a lighting and panel manufacturing company, has announced it will expand in Rochester, investing more than $73 million and creating 100 jobs over the next five years.  In making the announcement, Governor Andrew Cuomo called it  "a true New York success story."

OLEDWorks uses organic light emitting diode technology, and says it now expects to manufacture significant quantities of lighting devices.