Weak Labor Force and Expanding Employment Push Down Regional Unemployment

Bureau of Economic Research report on region's economy for 1st quarter of '14

Poughkeepsie (July 16, 2014) Expanding employment and a drop in labor force participation resulted in a significant reduction in unemployment in the seven-county mid-Hudson River Valley region in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Economic Research at Marist College.

 "The latest data shows that the regional economy continues the fairly even, if slow, recovery from the depths of the Great Recession that have characterized it for much of the past several years," said bureau Director Dr. Christy Huebner Caridi.

 Among the report’s specific findings:

  • Weak labor-force participation continues to impact the region. The reduction in labor-force participation was widespread, with every county in the region with the exception of Ulster posting a year-over-year reduction.
  • Over the period, regional employment advanced 0.76 percent. Every county in the region, with the exception of Sullivan, reported a year-over-year increase in employment.
  • The regional job count was little changed, increasing .68 percent in the first quarter of the current year.
  • The private sector job count advanced 1.21 percent.
  • The public sector job count continued to decline, falling 1.74 percent. Public-sector employment has fallen in each of the last six years.
  • Job gains in the education and health services super-sector continue to dominate the recovery.
  • The number of people dependent on food stamps continues to expand. Year over year, the number of Hudson Valley residences that received food-stamp benefits advanced 2.14 percent. Every county in the region, with the exception of Sullivan County, reported a year-over-year increase.
  • In contrast, the number of food-stamp recipients statewide declined 1.30 percent. As was the case in the previous quarters, Sullivan County was the most dependent on food-stamp benefits.
  • The housing market continues to recover albeit at a slow and uneven pace. Across the region, the median selling price of a single-family home advanced in five of the seven Hudson Valley counties.
  • Sales activity improved across the region, with the exception of Dutchess and Ulster which experienced year-over-year declines. In all cases, the median selling price remains well below the peak evaluations witnessed during the housing boom.

The full report, along with earlier quarterly and special reports on employment, income, and migration, can be found on the bureau’s website at https://www.marist.edu/management/bureau.