NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. (June 25, 2014) — National labor expert Dr. Paul Harrington of Drexel University categorized the regional and national economy as “uncertain,” predicted another recession in the next three years and said that college educated workers are earning more than high school educated workers than ever before in his remarks yesterday to more than 200 business and government leaders at the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation’s first State of the Hudson Valley Economy event at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, which was the latest edition of HVEDC’s Thought Leaders Master Series.
“The Hudson Valley region has slugged its way back from the recession,” said Harrington, the Director of Drexel University’s Center of Labor Market and Policy. “The pace of job growth during this recovery has been sluggish because Americans are uncertain about the economy. From 2007 to 2009, personal balance sheets were shattered and the value of real estate fell dramatically. Many people had never experienced this before and now are not engaging in the level of consumption they had in the past.”
In his keynote presentation, Harrington shared his thoughts on the challenges facing the U.S. labor market with a focus on the Hudson Valley’s labor pool and its role in accelerating growth in the region. He addressed an array of topics including inflation vs. deflation, regional trends of unemployment and employment, and the changes in labor force behavior, job growth and occupational training. Here are a few of his key points:
He expects the nation to slip into another recession sometime in the next few years but doesn’t expect it to be severe “because of the hedging that most companies have done in the last few years.”
Levels of educational attainment now predict earnings more than ever before. The salaries of college graduates are higher than ever before than workers with only high school diplomas.
In what he called the “age twist,” Harrington said older workers are staying in the job market longer and are more valued by employers than much younger workers.
Teenagers who work part-time jobs during their high school years dramatically increase their chances of graduating and have significantly higher career earnings than their peers who don’t work.
Nationally, and regionally, jobs lost in the construction and manufacturing sectors are being replaced in the fields of health care, social assistance, administration, educational services, accommodations and food services.
Harrington explained that between 2003 and 2013 the manufacturing industry lost 16,582 jobs (26.5 percent reduction in the work force) in the Hudson Valley while the construction industry lost 3,002 jobs (6.5 percent). Those losses, however, were countered by gains in growing industries such as health care and social assistance (19,940; 15.9 percent growth in the work force); accommodation and food services (12,341; 23 percent); administration (5,918, 15.5 percent); and educational services (5,623, 20.5 percent).
“The Hudson Valley is still the fastest growing part of New York State and offers one of America’s most vibrant business environments,” HVEDC President and CEO Laurence Gottlieb said. “Yesterday’s State of the Economy event examined very important national and regional labor trends, as HVEDC continues bringing the latest economic data to local business and government leaders in order to collectively help shape the Hudson Valley in the coming years.”
Additionally, HVEDC released the findings of its first “Hudson Valley Business Climate Survey” at the event. The survey – taken by 213 entities in the Hudson Valley – offers a comprehensive look at the types of businesses in the region and their needs, as well as their perceptions of both the current economy and expectations for the near future.
Laurence P. Gottlieb, president and CEO of HVEDC, noted
77 percent of respondents have a neutral or favorable outlook for the overall business climate in 2015.
Half of the respondents project an increase in hiring in the next twelve months.
54 percent of respondents rated the business friendliness of regional government as poor or somewhat poor.
Almost three quarters of the respondents feel the overall costs of doing business are challenging.
For complete results of the survey, visit hvedc.com.
In addition to the keynote, the event included a panel discussion on the regional economy featuring Gottlieb; Harrington; Chris O’Callaghan, Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle; and John Rath, Senior Vice President and Group Manager at TD Bank.
“We are honored to host HVEDC’s regional economic event,” said Donald P. Christian, President of SUNY New Paltz. “This event, like all of HVEDC’s programming, helps business leaders anticipate economic trends and delivers expert analysis on the region’s key business drivers.”
The event was sponsored by SUNY New Paltz, Jones Lang LaSalle, Central Hudson Gas & Electric and TD Bank.
Photo: Dr. Paul Harrington of Drexel University addresses more than 200 business leaders at the State of the Hudson Valley Economy event yesterday.
About Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC): HVEDC is the leading economic development agency for the seven-county region of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties. The public-private partnership markets the region as a prime business location to corporate executives, site selection consultants and real estate brokers. HVEDC helped start the organizational, branding and promotional effort for NY BioHud Valley, Hudson Valley 3D Printing and the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance. To learn more, call 845-220-2244 or visit http://www.hvedc.com.