The Public Policy Institute

The Comeback Trail:1998

An Update on New York's Economy — And What We Must Do to Build on The Progress We Have Made

Four years ago, The Institute said that if New York State changed policies and made its costs more competitive, it could become "The Comeback State." New York did change, and the comeback has begun. Business has added over 330,000 jobs since 1995; New York City and its suburbs are experiencing strong job growth; upstate jobs are at an all-time high; our prospects are bright. Yet the job is not finished. The cost of doing business in New York still does not match our competitors-and we are still not growing as rapidly as we should. New York needs more action on mandates, property taxes, business taxes, health-care costs, the lawsuit explosion, workforce development, and other concerns. (Introduction)

Make no mistake: New York's progress is real. Not only have we demonstrated substantial job growth; we're doing much better at capturing our share of the nation's overall job growth. (Section 1)

Our recovery is broad-based but not uniform. Upstate, which suffered less than downstate in the recession of the early 1990s and which led the recovery in 1995, is now growing more slowly than downstate. (Section 2)

In its effort to become more competitive, New York has made especially outstanding progress in reducing the burden of state taxes. We've also tackled problems ranging from workers' comp to energy costs. (Section 3)

Yet there is much work ahead of us. It is particularly urgent that we reduce liability costs, broaden our tax cuts, tame health-care costs, reduce the cost of local government, and strengthen our future workforce. (Section 4)

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