Many residents of the city of Rochester have been left behind by the economic recovery, according to a report from the Economic Innovation Group. The group looked at seven measurements of a city’s health from 2010 to 2013. Those measurements include adults without a high school degree, income, poverty rate, housing vacancy rate, businesses lost or gained, jobs lost or gained and percentage of adults not working. Distressed cities were given a score, with 100 being the maximum distress level.
In Rochester, most zip codes in the city had a distress score over 90 percent. Consider 14613, which encompasses Maplewood and Edgerton. One out of five adults doesn’t have a high school degree. One out of four homes is vacant. One out of 10 businesses closed. The employment rate fell 9 percent. This zip code is among the 500 most distressed in the entire country. Its distress score is 98.
Go over to 14605, the neighborhood just to the northeast of downtown and you see 60 percent of adults without jobs and half of residents living in poverty. Although employment ticked up 1 percent, incomes remain one-third of the median.
Looking at the map, you see things change dramatically as you cross city lines. The suburbs recovered nicely from the economic downturn. In Brighton, employment increased 11.5 percent. The number of businesses went up 3.5 percent. Residents earn 139 percent of the median income. The poverty rate is 7 percent. Brighton has a distress score of 6.5
In Penfield, employment went up 10.5 percent and the number of businesses increased 5.5 percent. The housing vacancy rate is 3 percent. The community’s distress score is 4.1.
These stark inequalities put Monroe County among the top 20 most unequal counties in the entire country. Erie County is also on this list.
Also of note, Utica is among the country’s 10 most distressed cities and Buffalo is among 10 largest distressed cities. Some rural areas are very distressed, including Albion and Lyons.
“The analysis finds that for those living in distressed zip codes, the years of overall U.S. economic recovery have looked much more like an ongoing downturn. Large swathes of the country are indeed being left behind by economic growth and change. The phenomenon is taking place at many different scales: Well-being diverges between cities and states but even more starkly within cities and at the neighborhood level.”
“It’s almost like you are looking at two different countries,” said Steve Glickman, executive director of the Economic Innovation Group…
“The most prosperous areas have enjoyed rocket-shiplike growth,” said John Lettieri, senior director for policy and strategy at the Economic Innovation Group. “There you are very unlikely to run into someone without a high school diploma, a person living below the poverty line or a vacant house. That is just not part of your experience.”
By contrast, in places the recovery has passed by, things look very different.
Monroe County is trying to tackle these inequities through the anti-poverty initiative. Rochester’s mayor is also exploring worker-owned businesses.
Links of the Day:
- Surge of downtown renters buoys Buffalo’s apartment market (Happening all over country.)
- Massive development proposal floated in Farmington (Target is empty nesters & YP’s…in rural area?!)
- Obscure downtown park to get makeover.
- Prosecutor calls another guy’s confession “meager” factual issue in Torres case