Annual Report FY 2004 - Research at Cornell

20. Upstate New York Economy

Rolf J. Pendall, Matthew P. Drennan, and Susan M. Christopherson, City and Regional Planning, showed in a new study of upstate New York that the region still lags behind the national average in income and job growth. The average income increased about 2 percent from 1980 to 2000, compared to 15 percent in the rest of the country. The researchers found that jobs are beginning to diversify, but manufacturing jobs need to be part of the diversification. The 206 active two- and four-year colleges and universities in upstate New York (more per capita than downstate or the nation) contribute, as a sector, by providing 3.7 percent of the jobs in the region, attracting students from downstate and out of state, training the region’s workforce, and actively promoting economic development through relationships with industry in the area. Although upstate residents have more college education now than two decades ago, young educated working-age adults leave the region for better jobs. The researchers called for a state policy on economic growth, recommending such strategies as encouraging intermunicipal competition for businesses and taking advantage of educational institutions—Cornell and others—as centers of innovation.

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