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Letter: Buffalo region is bursting with economic opportunity

Buffalo region is bursting with economic opportunity

A March 10 News editorial, “Labor Department needs better system of determining employment numbers,” misses the mark.

Here’s the real story: The Buffalo region has added private sector jobs for 69 of the past 70 months – Buffalo’s longest expansion on record. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s continued investment in this city is paying off. The Buffalo Billion is creating a foundation that will attract additional private investment and create thousands of new jobs. From projects like the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, to the Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub at Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, to the Buffalo IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub, Buffalo is bursting with promise and economic opportunity. SolarCity is projected to bring 3,000 jobs when it reaches full production. And the Department of Labor will help to ensure that job seekers have the training and skills they need to land these good-paying jobs.

I would also like to set the record straight on another point: While these numbers are reported by the State Labor Department, they are compiled by the federal government and are frequently revised. We clearly note this in our releases, labeling them “preliminary.” The numbers are not, as the editorial called them, “worthless” – they are a snapshot of the bigger picture that will come into focus over time.

That said, we believe there to be an issue with some of these recent projections made by the federal government. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor uses the employer’s physical address – not the employee’s – so a job in Buffalo could be getting counted in a contracting company’s home city.

The larger story, however, remains; these numbers are simply one indicator of many. And your eyes can tell you what numbers cannot: Private investment dollars are on the rise and construction continues at a rapid pace. The facts are clear: Buffalo is growing.

Roberta Reardon

Acting Commissioner

New York State Department of Labor