Report: NY recovery slow, with bright spots upstate

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New York wasn’t hit as hard as other states by the recession, but its economic recovery has been “slow going and uneven” around the state, according to a report issued today by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“But  there’s  still  a  lot  of pain. Our economic recovery is headed  in  the  right direction, but the road out of recession is still winding and potentially perilous,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

The state’s recovery has been a “mixed bag,” DiNapoli said. While private-sector employment has increased, jobs in the public sector are down. Property values in the major metropolitan regions upstate have been on the rise, but they have started to fall again in the metropolitan New York City area. Consumer confidence is low, oil and gas prices have been growing, and disruptions as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan could hold back economic activity, he said.

Private-sector employment, fueled by growth in the tourism, health services and education industry, increased 95,100 in 2010 and 27,600 in the first quarter of 2011. Between December 2009 and March 2011, public-sector employment declined by 28,200 jobs, or 1.9 percent.

Other indicators include:

— New York’s gross state product grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent last year, after declining for two years in a row. Economic output rebounded in all metropolitan areas in the past year, led by Ithaca with a 3.3 percent change. The growth was 3.1 percent in the mid-Hudson Valley, 2.9 percent in Buffalo, and the Rochester and Utica-Rome regions were at 2.4 percent. However, IHS Global Insight has predicted that the gross metropolitan products of most New York cities will slow this year.

— Home values in the New York City metropolitan region peaked in May 2006, but they fell by more than 20 percent through April 2009. Between October of that year and February 2011, they fell by 4 percent. In the five major upstate metropolitan regions, median home values increased strongly in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with their 2009 values. They were up 15.6 percent in Binghamton, 14.3 percent in Buffalo, 7.9 percent in Syracuse, 7.6 percent in Albany and 5.2 percent in Rochester.

— Unemployment in New York doubled during the recession. It was 8 percent last month, compared to 8.9 percent in September 2009. The state, however, lost 3.8 percent of its jobs — 336,700 — during the recession, while the loss nationwide was 6.1 percent.

— Personal income in the state rose by 4.1 percent in 2010, the second-highest rate in the country. Wall Street regained 9,700 of the 28,200 jobs the securities industry lost during the recession.

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