Liberty Street Economics

« | Main | »

August 18, 2016

Just Released: Job Growth in the Region

LSE_Just Released: Job Growth in the Region

At today’s economic press briefing, we provided an update on regional economic conditions, with a particular focus on job growth in the region, and highlighted an important emerging labor market trend: the return of middle-wage jobs.

Within the region, New York City remains an engine of growth, posting job gains that surpass the national pace. The City’s strong economy has helped boost growth in many surrounding areas, such as northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Fairfield County. Upstate New York has not fared quite as well, though Buffalo has seen some pickup in job growth, and the Capital Region continues to see sturdy job growth coupled with significant gains in manufacturing jobs. That said, not all the news was positive. Much of central New York has seen little growth, with Utica and Binghamton still yet to recover from the Great Recession. And, unfortunately, Puerto Rico continues to struggle under the weight of economic stagnation, a fiscal crisis, and an acceleration of out-migration.

We also took a fresh look at the types of jobs that have been created through the recovery and subsequent expansion. In the early stages of the recovery, middle-wage job growth was scant in both the nation and the region, continuing a decades-long trend often referred to as job polarization. However, the tide may be turning as many middle-wage jobs—including teachers, construction workers, mechanics, administrative support personnel, and truck drivers—have finally started to return. In fact, between 2013 and 2015, the nation saw more middle-wage jobs created than either higher- or lower-wage jobs, a sharp reversal from earlier patterns of job growth. Many of these middle-wage jobs have also been created here in our region, though the gains have been more significant in some areas than in others.

For more information on job growth in the region, see the economic press briefing web page.


The views expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.

Abel_jaisonJaison R. Abel is a research officer in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

Jason Bram is a research officer in the Group.

Richard Deitz is an assistant vice president in the Group.

How to cite this blog post:

Jaison R. Abel, Jason Bram, and Richard Deitz, “Just Released: Job Growth in the Region,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics (blog), August 17, 2016,


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thank you for your comments, Lesley. For this analysis, we used broad occupational categories ranked by median wages to identify our three categories, rather than detailed occupations or educational requirements. We agree that it would be fruitful to explore patterns of job growth using more detailed occupations or ways to identify job skills, such as educational requirements. In fact, we are currently looking into these issues in an effort to refine our initial findings. That said, we believe the broad occupational classification used for this analysis does provide some important insights. In particular, after seeing only modest middle-wage job gains between 2010 and 2013, we observe significant middle-wage job gains in the nation after 2013. Within the middle-wage group, the occupation categories with the largest net job gains were transportation, construction, administrative support, and production which are generally viewed as traditional middle-skill jobs. Such middle-wage job gains were quite strong in downstate New York over this period, but quite a bit weaker in upstate New York. You might also be interested in this blog post by the chief economist of the Department of Labor that looks at national job growth by the wage level of individual workers, regardless of occupation ( She finds that in the past few years, growth has been strongest among middle- and high-wage jobs, while jobs that pay very low wages have actually declined.

Dear Authors, I wonder you would have found if you had examined jobs by educational attainment and experience requirements rather than by wages. I do not imagine that you’d have found very much (or any) growth in the “middle-skill” area. NYSDOL projected that 63% of the job growth between 2012-2022 would be in jobs requiring a high school diploma or less. Only 8% of the growth was projected to be in jobs requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree (middle skill). It would be helpful if the authors could please list the detailed occupations that experienced the most employment growth. I expect they would be home health aides, cashiers, and retail salespersons, and not in skilled trades or other similarly middle-skill fields. From what I have been able to ascertain, your analysis was run using occupational families, not detailed occupations. How can you account for the variation in wages within, say, healthcare practitioners family that includes everything from neurosurgeons to veterinary technicians. I look forward to seeing the research in greater detail. Sincerely, Lesley Hirsch Director, NYCLMIS CUNY Graduate Center

The comments to this entry are closed.

About the Blog

Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

Liberty Street Economics does not publish new posts during the blackout periods surrounding Federal Open Market Committee meetings.

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.

Economic Research Tracker

Image of NYFED Economic Research Tracker Icon Liberty Street Economics is available on the iPhone® and iPad® and can be customized by economic research topic or economist.

Economic Inequality

image of inequality icons for the Economic Inequality: A Research Series

This ongoing Liberty Street Economics series analyzes disparities in economic and policy outcomes by race, gender, age, region, income, and other factors.

Most Read this Year

Comment Guidelines


We encourage your comments and queries on our posts and will publish them (below the post) subject to the following guidelines:

Please be brief: Comments are limited to 1,500 characters.

Please be aware: Comments submitted shortly before or during the FOMC blackout may not be published until after the blackout.

Please be relevant: Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been reviewed to ensure that they are substantive and clearly related to the topic of the post.

Please be respectful: We reserve the right not to post any comment, and will not post comments that are abusive, harassing, obscene, or commercial in nature. No notice will be given regarding whether a submission will or will
not be posted.‎

Comments with links: Please do not include any links in your comment, even if you feel the links will contribute to the discussion. Comments with links will not be posted.

Send Us Feedback

Disclosure Policy

The LSE editors ask authors submitting a post to the blog to confirm that they have no conflicts of interest as defined by the American Economic Association in its Disclosure Policy. If an author has sources of financial support or other interests that could be perceived as influencing the research presented in the post, we disclose that fact in a statement prepared by the author and appended to the author information at the end of the post. If the author has no such interests to disclose, no statement is provided. Note, however, that we do indicate in all cases if a data vendor or other party has a right to review a post.