SUNY New Paltz hosted business and government leaders at the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation’s (HVEDC) first-ever State of the Hudson Valley Economy event on Tuesday, June 24. The event was the latest edition of HVEDC’s Thought Leaders Master Series.
“We are honored to host HVEDC’s regional economic event,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “This event, like all of HVEDC’s programming, helps business leaders anticipate economic trends and delivers expert analysis on the region’s key business drivers.”
In addition to a keynote address by nationally-renowned expert Dr. Paul Harrington, professor and director for the Center of Labor Market and Policy at Drexel University, the event included a panel discussion on the regional economy featuring HVEDC President and CEO Laurence Gottlieb; Chris O’Callaghan, managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle; and John Rath, senior vice president and group manager at TD Bank.
In his keynote presentation, Harrington shared his thoughts on the challenges facing the U.S. labor market with a focus on the Hudson Valley’s labor pool and its role in accelerating growth in the region. He addressed an array of topics including inflation vs. deflation, regional trends of unemployment and employment, and the changes in labor force behavior, job growth and occupational training.
“The Hudson Valley region has slugged its way back from the recession,” said Harrington. “The pace of job growth during this recovery has been sluggish because Americans are uncertain about the economy. From 2007 to 2009, personal balance sheets were shattered and the value of real estate fell dramatically. Many people had never experienced this before and now are not engaging in the level of consumption they had in the past.”
Harrington explained that between 2003 and 2013 the manufacturing industry lost 16,582 jobs (26.5 percent reduction in the work force) in the Hudson Valley while the construction industry lost 3,002 jobs (6.5 percent). Those losses, however, were countered by gains in growing industries such as health care and social assistance (19,940; 15.9 percent growth in the work force); accommodation and food services (12,341; 23 percent); administration (5,918, 15.5 percent); and educational services (5,623, 20.5 percent).
“The Hudson Valley is still the fastest growing part of New York State and offers one of America’s most vibrant business environments,” Gottlieb said. “Yesterday’s State of the Economy event examined very important national and regional labor trends, as HVEDC continues bringing the latest economic data to local business and government leaders in order to collectively help shape the Hudson Valley in the coming years.”
Additionally, HVEDC released the findings of its first “Hudson Valley Business Climate Survey” at the event. The survey – taken by 213 entities in the Hudson Valley – offers a comprehensive look at the types of businesses in the region and their needs, as well as their perceptions of both the current economy and expectations for the near future. For complete results of the survey, visit hvedc.com.
The event was sponsored by SUNY New Paltz, Jones Lang LaSalle, Central Hudson Gas & Electric and TD Bank.