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March 1, 2000

Governor: NYS private-sector job growth outpaces nation

Upstate growth beats national average for first time in 11 years; Pataki credits tax cuts

Private-sector job growth both upstate and statewide exceeded private-sector job growth nationally last year, Governor Pataki said today.

Final 1999 data from the state Department of Labor show that New York's private-sector employment grew by 2.9 percent. The national private-sector job-growth rate was 2.3 percent.

New York created 199,500 private-sector jobs in 1999. That is New York's fastest statewide growth rate in 15 years and its most significant expansion compared to the national average in 42 years, the Governor said.

The upstate private-sector job-growth rate of 2.5 percent is the region's fastest growth rate in 11 years as well as the first time upstate has beaten the national average in 11 years, he added.

"These results demonstrate that our philosophy of cutting taxes and making New York a business- friendly state has paid off for working families," the Governor said. "Tax cuts mean jobs."

"Now we must do more," he added.

"The Governor has been right all along in saying that lower taxes and a better business climate will create jobs, and he deserves credit for these numbers," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh.

"We must resist temptation to assume the battle is won and stop seeking further improvement," Walsh said. "We can and should do more to create even more jobs."

Job growth relative to the national average has long been seen as a key measure of recovery.

The Business Council's research affiliate, The Public Policy Institute of New York State, argued in its 1994 book The Comeback State that having a job growth rate that exceeded the national average should be a key goal for New York.

The Comeback State said that tax cuts and other improvements to New York's business climate would help foster recovery.

Statewide, 662,900 new private-sector jobs have been added since the Governor took office.

Six upstate metropolitan areas increased private-sector jobs at more than 3 percent, including Syracuse at 3.2 percent, the Capital District at 3.3 percent, Binghamton at 3.6 percent, Newburgh at 4.5 percent, Utica-Rome at 4.5 percent and Dutchess at 5.2 percent, the Governor's release said.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls at 1.8 percent and Rochester at 1.9 percent each had the strongest rate of growth in 10 years. Buffalo had a nine-fold increase over 1998.

The Governor urged tax cuts and controlled spending to sustain the momentum. "We can start by cutting the gross receipts tax on energy that has held back job creation, particularly upstate."