Amid Worries Of A Coming Recession, Labor Numbers Good For Southern Tier

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BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — The unemployment rate across the Southern Tier fell in February, as compared to the same time in 2018.

This was true also across New York State.

The Southern Tier, like other parts of the northeast, saw a slow recovery following the Great Recession of 2008. However, figures released this week by New York’s Department of Labor may be a sign that economic health is returning.

The unemployment rate dropped by more than 1% for several counties between February, 2018 and February, 2019. “I mean we’re really seeing industry gains almost across the board,” said Christian Harris, who’s a Southern Tier analyst for the New York Department of Labor.

Rachel McDevitt/WITF

In recent year, political leaders have pushed the industrial hemp industry in much of the nation, including New York’s Southern Tier. (Rachel McDevitt/WITF)

“Manufacturing still has some losses, our government sector has experienced a little bit as well, but a lot less than we’ve seen in the past and other industry categories are moving forward,” Harris added. “There’s a lot more people working in those categories.”

Harris hopes economic factors, such as the expanding industrial hemp industry, can help the region continue its move forward.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is economists think the nation might be headed for another recession. “Obviously, if we’re just getting into the recovery in a meaningful way and then the recession hits us, that’s a situation that we don’t appreciate,” Harris said.

The regional economy has been quick to stumble in past recessions, but slow to recover. Harris believes the Southern Tier can withstand a gradual slowdown in growth. It could be worse, he worries, if the nation experiences some kind of financial crisis.