Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Thursday, August 30, 2007

New York earns a grade of 'D' on the 50-state comparison; Upstate's grade is 'F'

ALBANY—Fully half of the 62 counties in New York State trail the nation in all five core measures of long-term economic growth included in The Business Council's new Economic Growth Index. New York State as a whole trails the nation in four of the five categories, giving it a grade of D on the new index.

The Council's new Economic Growth Index ranks the five boroughs of New York City, the state's 57 other counties and all 50 states according to their growth rate in five key areas between 1995 and 2005: jobs; average wage per job; total personal income; per-capita personal income; and population. The data used in the index come from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and were compiled by The Business Council's research affiliate, the Public Policy Institute.

Each state's growth in those areas was compared to the national average. States that matched or exceeded the nation's growth in all five categories received a grade of A+. States that matched or exceeded the nation's growth in four, three, two, or one category were graded A, B, C, and D, respectively. States that trailed the nation's rate of growth in all five categories were graded F.

New York earned a grade of D because its 10-year rate of growth matched or exceeded the national average in only one of the five categories, average wage per job. (The complete Economic Growth Index, with the rankings of all 50 states and all 62 New York State counties, is appended. The complete Economic Growth Index.

Thirty-one of New York's counties were marked as F—as was Upstate New York as a whole. Twenty-seven states got grades better than New York State's D. Ten states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming—received grades of A+ on the Economic Growth Index. Three states—Georgia, Maryland, and New Mexico—earned grades of A. There were also eight Bs, seven Cs, and 13 Ds, including New York State. Nine other states—Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, and West Virginia—trailed the national average in all five categories and received grades of F.

"This index shows just how badly New York's economy has performed compared to the nation, and it confirms that Upstate New York is locked in a profound economic crisis," said Business Council President Kenneth Adams. "Through a long period that includes both ups and downs in the national economy, New York's economic performance has been awful."

At the county and borough level, the index shows that:

Here are some facts about New York's performance in each of the five categories used in the Economic Growth Index.

Job growth: New York's 10-year job growth rate in the period ending with 2005 was 12.2 percent, well behind the national average of 17 percent. The job-growth rates for New York City (14.3 percent), its suburbs (16.5 percent), Upstate (7.3 percent), and Upstate minus the Hudson Valley (5.8 percent) also trailed the nation's. Twelve states had 10-year job-growth rates of 20 percent or more: Arizona (42.3 percent), California (20.5 percent), Colorado (25.8 percent), Florida (34 percent), Idaho (29.3 percent), Montana (21 percent), Nevada (58.5 percent), New Hampshire (22.1 percent), Oregon (20.2 percent), Texas (24.6 percent), Utah (30.5 percent), and Virginia (20.3 percent).

Average annual wages per job: New York's average annual wages per job grew 48.3 percent in the 10-year period, slightly ahead of the national average of 46.3 percent. New York's better-than-average growth in this category was driven by a growth rate of 53.2 percent in New York City. The city's suburbs (44.8 percent) and Upstate (39.3 percent) had growth rates that trailed the nation's. Among New York's immediate neighbors, Connecticut (50.6 percent) and Massachusetts (54.8 percent) outperformed New York while New Jersey (43.1 percent), Pennsylvania (42.3 percent), and Vermont (45.6 percent) trailed New York.

Total personal income: New York's total personal income in the 10-year period—the most widely available indicator of total economic activity—grew 53.9 percent. This was well behind the national average of 66.3 percent. New York's growth rate trailed the national rate in New York City (55.2 percent), its suburbs (60 percent), and Upstate (46.4 percent). In only three New York State counties—Jefferson, Putnam, and Saratoga—did personal income grow faster than the national rate of growth. Only eight states (Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) had growth rates in this category that were lower than New York's.

Per-capita personal income: New York's per-capita personal income in the 10-year period grew 47.6 percent, slightly behind the national average of 49.4 percent. New York's growth rate in this category trailed the national rate in New York City (44.6 percent), and Upstate (48.5 percent); the growth rate in New York City's suburbs (51.9 percent) exceeded the national growth rate. New York's rate of growth in per-capita personal income was ahead of 14 states' (Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee).

Population growth: New York's population-growth rate during the 10-year period was 4.3 percent, well behind the national growth rate of 11.4 percent during the same period. Only eight of 62 New York State counties (Bronx, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam Queens, Richmond [Staten Island], Saratoga, and Suffolk) had population growth rates that exceeded the national average. Nationally, New York's 10-year population expansion outpaced growth in only six states: Iowa, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.