During a visit to Rochester earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a couple comments that cannot go unchecked. He told the Democrat and Chronicle:
“Things haven’t look this good in Rochester in decades and decades and decades…Are we bumping up against nirvana? No. But are we better off now than we were four years ago? Yes.”
Is Rochester is better off than it has been in decades? There’s a lot of evidence to the contrary.
According to the New York State Labor Department, the Rochester area hit its peak jobs number in 2000, with 529,800 non-farm jobs. Last year, there were 514,500 jobs.
Unemployment was 3.7 percent in 1990, 3.6 percent in 2000 and 7.1 percent in 2013.
But perhaps the most telling statistic is that there were 522,800 people in the local labor force last year. That’s the lowest number of people since before 1990.
In 2000, the median household income in Monroe County was $44,891. In 2012, it was $52,700. If the median household income had kept pace with inflation, the 2012 earnings would have been $59,853.
Are we better off than we were four years ago? The area was already starting to recover jobs lost during the recession when Cuomo was elected. But during his tenure, our economy was called out as the second-slowest growing in the entire country. Meantime, poverty is up and income inequality has grown.
There are reasons to be optimistic about the future, as well as our area’s tremendous potential. But the governor must have been wearing rose-colored glasses during his visit.
Links of the Day:
– The state spent $37.5 million of Hurricane Sandy relief money on advertisements!
– State Senator George Maziarz is in trouble.
– Child migrants have been coming along to America since Ellis Island.
– Cellphone bans have not made us better drivers.
– Eight charts explain the return of school segregation.
– Teacher tenure also protects good teachers.
– Red light cameras tag thousands for undeserved tickets in Chicago. (Same operator as in Rochester.)
– “The fear of predators is part of what’s making kids fat, by keeping them inside, sedentary, and near the fridge.”
– Here are nine outcomes of human cloning.
Tweet of the Day:
— john_kucko (@john_kucko) July 18, 2014