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Number of jobs in Genesee County hasn't changed much over the past decade

UPDATED 5:33 p.m. with comments from Steve Hyde.

While Genesee County Economic Development Center officials boast of 1,500 jobs created in the past five years, Department of Labor statistics don't show anything near that rate of job growth.

In 2005, according to labor statistics, there were 23,000 non-farm jobs in Genesee County; in 2010, there were also 23,000.

Since 2001, Genesee County has seen a net gain of 100 non-farm jobs.

That said, during the 2009/2008 recession, Genesee County fared better than the rest of the nation. While Genesee County lost 2.5 percent of its jobs from 2008 to 2010, as a whole the United States shed 5.1 percent of its jobs.

"Considering the past recession (Genesee County's job growth) numbers don’t look so terrible to me," said Tammy Marino, a researcher with the NYS Department of Labor based in Rochester. "They look reasonable compared to the rest of nation."

She added, "(The GCEDC) has probably done good job of bringing new jobs into the community, but it’s hard to see just because of the past recession, what we’ve been through in the past two years."

Steve Hyde, CEO of the EDC, said a lot of what his agency does is just try "stem the tide of decline" sweeping New York State.

"You look at the last 10 years and everyone around the country is shedding jobs and there are 100 more jobs in a recessionary environment than we had 10 years ago, on a relative basis, that’s a win for Genesee County," Hyde said. "New York is ranked the 50th most difficult state to do business in. Until we have systemic change in tax policy and and regulation policy, we're fighting hard just to buffer the tide of decline."

It's also hard, Hyde said, to compare DOL statistics with an EDC's job commitment numbers. Companies that get tax abatement and other assistance make a commitment to create a certain number of jobs over a four-year time frame. When the EDC says it created 1,500 jobs over the past five years, some of those jobs are still in the pipeline and wouldn't show up in labor statistics.

"We're working with companies working to grow or retain jobs," Hyde said. "What we're really trying to do is (incentivize) investments because when investment occurs by a company, it will create a long-term tax base and it builds roots in the community, which will lead to long-term job creation."

District 8 Legislator Hollis Upson, who sits on the GCEDC board, said just looking at the raw numbers doesn't tell the full story of job creation in Genesee County. 

"There's an awful of variables there and I don't know how to reconcile the Department of Labor statistics," Upson said. "If the EDC is creating jobs, they don't make any assumptions or have knowledge of jobs that might have been depleted. We (the county) might have lost 1,500 jobs."

In looking at job growth over the past 10 years, two sectors of employment for Genesee County stand out: Manufacturing, which has lost 800 jobs, and government, which has gained 700 jobs.

Marino said that Genesee County and the entire Rochester region is not immune from what is going on in the rest of the nation. Manufacturing jobs are being lost to free trade and greater efficiency driven by improved technology in factories.

"It doesn’t mean the existing companies are are not viable," Marino said. "But more manufacturers are taking advantage of technology to get more output with fewer workers. That trend has especially hit the metro area. We've had very steep job losses in the most recent years."

Genesee County has probably lost manufacturing jobs, just like the rest of the nation, Upson said, as it competes with China and other nations.

"Even Mexico is complaining now about losing jobs to China," Upson said. "Capital will flow to where the labor is cheaper."

But in the end, Upson said, a job is a job.

"We strive for those (manufacturing jobs)," Upson said. "We like those better then anything because they have the best ripple effect."

But, he added, New York is a mighty hard place to recruit manufacturers. He called New York punitive and overregulated.

"Even though manufacturing jobs would be the nice ones to attract, they are very difficult to do so given the umbrella we're working under in the State of New York," Upson said.

It's that climate that led to the EDC changing its public name about 10 years ago from Genesee Industrial Development Agency to Genesee County Economic Development Center, Upson said.

Genesee County's employment peaked in 2008 at 23,600 non-farm jobs.

The labor department tracks the county's jobs on a monthly basis, and online statistics go back 21 years. For this story, we're using the annual monthly average.

Looking at monthly comparisons, however, in a January-over-January match from 2010 to 2011, statistics show Genesee County picking up 300 jobs, from 21,600 to 21,900.

Typically, there are more jobs in Genesee County during summer months. In August 2010, there were 23,800 jobs. 

Over the past 21 years, the biggest month for non-farm jobs was June 2009 when Genesee County boasted 25,100 jobs.

Meanwhile, new unemployment statistics released this week show the county's unemployment rate rose from 7.9 percent in December to 9 percent in January. A year ago in January, unemployment was 9.6 percent.

As for the county's jump in government workers, Morino speculated that while schools have probably added staff, especially the community college, a lot of Genesee County's government job growth is probably driven by the presence of a Federal Detention Center and a Homeland Security office.

In fact, most of the county's government job growth came in 2002 and 2003 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Western New York, Morino said, tends to remain pretty stable in both good and bad economic times.

"We don’t see any extreme highs and extreme lows," she said. "During the past recession, the auto industry was hit very hard and we didn’t see any of that because we’re not really dependent on the auto industry. Also, housing prices remained stable. We didn’t see that big build up in housing values, and didn’t see them fall either."

Mike Weaver
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Yep. Walmart and Target has done wonders to make sure our job stats look good. Too bad it's all minimum wage, no benefit jobs.
Mark Potwora
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Mike the growth was in government jobs..Manufacturing, which has lost 800 jobs, and government, which has gained 700 jobs.The stats speak for them self...GCEDC is a waste ..For all the tax breaks they hand out they sure don't have the job growth to show for it..Didn't Mr.Hyde also get a 60,000 dollar bonus last year for all the non job growth..When will the county legislators start calling them out on all this..When they give out all these tax breaks the money has to come from somewhere and that would be us in the form of higher tax rates..Good reporting Howard.... Steve Hyde, CEO of the EDC said a lot of what his agency does is just try "stem the tide of decline" sweeping New York State...I didn't realize that is what the GCEDC role is ..I thought is was about creating jobs..And he gets a bonus for just stemming the tide of decline....
Bob Harker
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Bottom line: GCEDC has never, and WILL never, offer ANY facts regarding it's direct responsibility in creating or even RETAINING ONE SINGLE JOB in this county - other than their own cushy jobs that include insane and unjustifiable bonuses, country club memberships and cars. Yet the county continues to dump residents' hard earned money into this black hole of smoke and mirrors. It's kind of like investing in a company that offers no P&L and never reveals its stock value. Ridiculous.
Bill Bogan
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"It's also hard, Hyde said, to compare DOL statistics with an EDC's job commitment numbers." so basically dont believe the 3rd party numbers, just take the ones WE are giving you about how GREAT of a job we are doing. oh and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain... " When the EDC says it created 1,500 jobs over the past five years, some of those jobs are still in the pipeline and wouldn't show up in labor statistics." i'd like to see real numbers then. How many jobs created each year for the past 5 years, and how many of those jobs are still there? what pay range are the jobs in?
Bea McManis
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What is ridiculous is that this county will continue to vote in the same legistators then complain about their performance. If there was any REAL outrage, the entire group would be history. The pablum we are spoon fed, regarding the GCEDC, is not digestable by any stretch of the imagination. But, come November, it will be more of the same. How many of you, for example, have expressed displeasure over the GCEDC and the legislators' responses? How many of you voted for those same legislators and will vote for them again?
John Roach
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Bea is 100% right on this.
Thomas Mooney
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Why would the legislators go against one of their own , Upson needs to cut ties with GCEDC to curb conflict of interest .
C. M. Barons
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Bea, the number one issue in my Assembly campaign was IDA (off-budget agency) reform. I'm not sure what Marc's take on the issue was. Still, Steve Hawley and Mike Ranzenhofer endorsed the GCEDC record by accepting the photo op and generating press releases. Apparently the region's voters don't mind the fudged job creation figures and self-embraced bonuses enough to buck status quo.
John Roach
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CM, I don't think people are embracing GCEDC, I think you did a poor job explaining your position or proving fudged figures. I also understand and appreciate that your almost total lack of funding made it almost impossible for you to do any better. Also, individual complaints during an election campaign receive less attention than that State audit report which has now focused attention on the issue. Too bad for you and Chris the report did not come out before the election. For Chris, it may have made a big difference in the outcome. If the County Legislators all face election opponents this year, then we'll know if the public likes the status quo.
Chris Charvella
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So, who wants to run against these people? I'm the guy you want to talk to if you're interested in unseating your legislator. charvellac(at)rochester.rr.com
Bea McManis
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Chris, I hope you get two dozen emails from people who want to run. The comfort level the GCEDC (and the legislators) enjoy is knowing that most people aren't paying attention to this. It would be nice to prove them wrong.
C. M. Barons
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Actually, John, the Independent Agency Budget Accounting Office DID offer a report prior to the recent Assembly election, and I posted an opinion on that report on this site and in the Daily News. The report and my reaction to it were no less damning than the current analysis. I made my case against IDA abuses throughout my campaign- at numerous 'meet-the-candidate' venues, on my website, my brochures and during my house-to-house visits. http://thebatavian.com/blogs/c-m-barons/ny-authorities-deal-out-millions... You read it; you even commented!
Reicha Morris
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i wish there were green party candidates to vote for
bud prevost
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Well, that meeting was interesting....NOT! It was basically an opportunity to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. I did confiscate one of the booklets they were giving to the attendees. It stated over the last 5 years, the GCEDC helped create or retain close to 6000 jobs. Really?? Where? What jobs? Curious minds want to know.
Bea McManis
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From the "I told you so, file" Two days ago I wrote: by Bea McManis on March 9, 2011 - 1:26pm Whoohooo. Tickets to hear them self congratulate are $15.00 each. Did you expect anything different? Glad I stayed home.
Mark Potwora
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I can't believe the oversight the legislators will put on the county nursing home but none on the GCEDC..Upson and Hancock need to go..Mr.Upson seems like Mr.Hyde's yes man..I will vote against my legislator on this one issue..Why doesn't the county do a study on the GCEDC like they are doing with the nursing home..
Chris Charvella
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6000? Damn, I must have been living in bizarro-Genesee County this whole time, where the unemployment hovers around 10% and the only available jobs are at Wal-Mart. I need to work harder on finishing my Trans-Dimensional Travel Device so I can zip on over to AwesomeGenesee where jobs are plentiful and everyone's a millionaire.
Lorie Longhany
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Mark, excellent question. If you read the article in the Daily yesterday http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_8f78abe4-4adb-11e0-8260-001cc... the nursing home is treated like this legislature's red headed step child (twin of Genesee Justice), while they bow before the GCEDC like it is their god of life sustaining milk and honey.
bud prevost
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Bea, I didn't eat lunch. I just hung around. No one really said anything to me, except for a couple of fellow students, but I definitely felt out of place at this pep rally. The stench of self-adoration became nauseating, so I left after Steve Hawley did his stand up routine.
Bea McManis
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Bud, I didn't figure you would do the lunch. I wouldn't either. Paying $15 to watch them glorify each other would be difficult...eating and watching them glorify each other would be an event screaming for TUMS. Mark, thank you for noticing the obvious difference on how our legislators treat those in need and those in clover. I hope other taxpayers, like you, realize that their money is spent on an agency who's sole purpose seems to be lining their own pockets. Chris, if you ever get your time machine working you can sell tickets to the alternate Gemesee Co. It would be a wonderful place to visit. Howard, I wonder if the GCEDC will keep you on their press release list? Everytime one of them hits the site, more and more people are becoming suspect of their motives. Right now, they are like reading the Sunday comics.
C. M. Barons
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The alternate universe of Republican/Corporate America- where massive debt equals healthy economy, jobs leave the country because an annual income over one million dollars doesn't absolve one's tax obligation, corporate self-regulation is not an oxymoron, it's only graft if it's found attached to a tree and what one doesn't know can never hurt if it's profitable.
C. M. Barons
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No arguments, Howard. I just recall that rare moment during the waning Clinton presidency when the debt was almost a thing of the past. Five years later one of the Bushites was celebrating its return as if providential.
Jeff Allen
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C.M. you're right it was rare, so rare that it didn't exist. In the Clinton years the budget deficit decreased on paper while the National debt increased every year for a cumulative increase of over a trillion dollars. It's like saying I reduced my overall debt by paying off my credit cards with a loan from the bank.
John Roach
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While Clinton was president, he didn't do it. Congress did. But they did it by moving items "off budget". It was all smoke and mirrors.
C. M. Barons
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double post
John Roach
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National debt today, under Obama, is estimated at $14 trillion dollars, and going up.
C. M. Barons
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The national debt remained flat ($1.8 - $2.3 trillion) from 1945 to 1983. From 1983 to 2004, the debt escalated from $2.1 - $7.5 trillion, currently $14.2 trillion. The only reduction was in 2001 and 2002. The debt reached the $7 trillion mark in January of 2004. The $8 trillion mark was reached in 2005. In November of 2009, the debt topped $12 trillion. Ronald Reagan 1981 - 1989 ($2 - $3.9 T) Republican Senate, Democratic House 81 - 85 Both Houses, Democratic 87 - 89 George H. W. Bush 1989 - 1993 ($3.9 - $4.2 T) Both Houses, Democratic 89 - 93 Bill Clinton 1993 - 2001 ($4.2 - $5.7 T) Both Houses, Republican 93 - 99 Democratic Senate, Republican House 2001 George W. Bush 2001 - 2009 ($5.7 - $10.6 T) Both Houses, Republican 03 - 05 Both Houses, Democratic 07 Barack Obama 2009 - present ($10.6 - $14.2 T) Both Houses, Democratic 09 Republican House, Democratic Senate 11
Marc Staley
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Just in case you'd like your level of nausea to elevate by the second, here's a real time look at our current predicament. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ Keep in mind that this number ($14.2 Billion) is actually way off the mark. If you include the two monstrosities named Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.....which are 80% owned by the government this number takes a high speed rail ride closer to $19 Billion. Minor details, but rest assured, you and I have co-signed for this as well. Pay special attention to our Debt to GDP number. It's debatable at this point weather we can "grow" our way out of this. It's either cut hard, tax hard, or inflate. With QE1 & QE2 & now the whisper of QE3.........it's pretty obvious our standard of living is being "borrowed against" at this moment. The "good news" **sarcasm font** is that those who will pay dearest for this, can't vote at this point. But two of them are sound asleep about 20 feet from me right now. We owe them more. There's a whole lot of frosting coming out of Washington right now when what we really need is cake! Trumpeting a $61 Billion spending cut is tantamount to a surgeon tending to a dying man on the operating table and only clipping his toe nails. Save the press conferences and posturing for a sunnier day. While the political parties argue about what song to play, our dollar is morphing into a peso and china is walking out the back door with the radio. The national debt grows $4 Billion a day! Congrats congress, you just bought yourself 15 days. It's your move again. I'm not convinced that the political courage/will is there to serve us the cake we need on either side of the aisle.......and I'm even less convinced that we as a nation sit ready to eat it. The effects of this are generational in scope, and will effectively redefine the american dream and standards of living as we know them. Of all the conversations I'm reticent to have with my children as they grow, I'm hoping to be able to avoid this one the most. As a child I often wondered on the occasional visit to Niagara Falls, just how close a boat could come to the edge of the falls before it would no longer matter how much horsepower was onboard. I was smart enough at that early age to know one thing.....I would never want to find myself in the boat testing this out. Let's hope our elected officials feel the same way! I think I feel mist.
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