Economy






Our area's economy has undergone many transformations during its history. Water-powered mills helped Rochester become the "Flour City" in the early 19th century. The opening of the Erie Canal made the city an early American boomtown, and the development of the photographic industry catapulted Rochester into a position of worldwide economic significance. Today we are transforming to a more diverse economy focused on high-technology industry, education, health care, and a growing small and mid-sized business sector. This transformation reflects the national trend from manufacturing. Locally, significant losses in manufacturing have been offset by gains in other sectors, particularly education and financial activities. 

Between 2010 and 2017, the region gained back the 17,000 jobs it had lost from 2008 to 2010.  The rate of increase in 2017 (0.5%) was below the state (1.4%) and nation (1.4%). The region's employment-to-population ratio was slightly higher than the nation and on par with the state at 73%.

The region’s unemployment rate declined to 4.7% in 2017, below both the nation and the state. The region’s rate jumped from 5.6% in 2008 to a high of 8.1% in 2010 before beginning to descend in 2013.

The Educational Services and Financial Activities  in the region grew between 2001 and 2017 (45% and 37%), while jobs in the Manufacturing and Information (36% and 40% respectively) sectors declined. The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector provided the most jobs in the region at 16% of the total in 2017, followed by Health Care and Social Assistance and Professional and Business Services sectors making up 13% of the total.

The average salary in 2017 in the region of $48,100 was below the state ($70,500) and national ($55,400) figures.  All sectors have wages below state figures, and the rate of increase in average salary has consistently lagged in comparison since 2004.

Since 2000, the number of businesses in the region has grown 11%. Gaining sectors included Educational Services and Professional and Business Sectors.








Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
Prenatal Care 80% 2016 3 1
Increasing
Prenatal Care, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Low Birth Weight Babies 7% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
Low Birth Weight Babies, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Infant Mortality Rate 6.0 2014-16 2 0
Maintaining
Infant Mortality Rate, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0.7% 2015 2 -1
Decreasing
Children in Poverty 21% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Children in Poverty, Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families 39% 2012-16 2 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect 18 2016 2 1
Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions 2.1 2017 2 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Pregnancy 2% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Arts and Culture Attendance 0 10 Not Applicable
Tourism Spending $1,368 2017 1 1
Increasing
Recreation Spending $76 2017 1 -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 81% 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate 58% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
Registered Library Borrowers 63% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Library Visits 6.0 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Contributions as a Percentage of Income 1.7% 2016 2 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 10% 2012-16 3 0
Maintaining
Total Population 0.9% 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Population by Age 0 10 Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16-19 6% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income $53,369 2012-16 1 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty 14% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Public Assistance Recipients 2.6% 2017 3 0
Maintaining
Approval Rate for Public Assistance Applications 26% 2017 0 -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP 14% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Tax Filers Receiving Earned Income Tax Credit 16% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
EITC Dollars $177 2016 1 1
Increasing
Change in Total Jobs 0.5% 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Change in Number of Business Establishments by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Change in Jobs by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Sector Shares of Regional Total Employment 0 10 Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate 5% 2017 2 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 3% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Employment-to-Population Ratio 73% 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Per-Capita Spending for Local Government $3,645 2016 0 1
Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation 44% 2016 2 1
Increasing
School Spending Per Student $22,208 2017 1 1
Increasing
Instructional Spending Per Student $15,778 2017 1 1
Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services 9% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English 43% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 English by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 Math 48% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 Math by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 Math by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 English 41% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 8 English by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 English by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 Math 47% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Regents Algebra 1 78% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Regents English 84% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 85% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Cohort Graduation Rate, Beyond Four Years 87% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults 0 10 Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance 5% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Supply of Doctors 34.4 2016 1 1
Increasing
Mortality Rate 685 2016 1 -1
Decreasing
Chlamydia Rate 50 2016 3 1
Increasing
Chlamydia Rates within Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Gonorrhea Rate 21 2016 2 0
Maintaining
Gonorrhea Rates within Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living with HIV 104 2016 0 1
Increasing
People Living with HIV by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living with AIDS 132 2016 0 1
Increasing
People Living with AIDS by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 0 10 Not Applicable
Alcohol-related Crashes 3 2017 2 -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value $130,597 2012-16 1 0
Maintaining
Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment by Primary Substance 0 10 Not Applicable
Median Rental Prices $807 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners 2.4 2012-16 3 0
Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Overall Housing Cost Burden 31% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters 35% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate 68% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units 9% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Homeless Persons 0 10 Not Applicable
Serious Crimes 214 2017 1 -1
Decreasing
Violent Crimes 28 2017 3 1
Increasing
Victims of Domestic Violence 54 2017 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates 13.7 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Arrest Rates 197.7 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS





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