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A TALE OF TWO CITIES <br> UPSTATE'S DECLINE CONTRASTS WITH THE RISE OF OTHER RUST BELT MARKETS IN THE 1990S

Syracuse

Population: The metro area population was 740,611 in 1997, down 0.2 percent from 1990.

Job loss: 6,400 (down 1.9 percent).

Winners: The area added 12,900 service-sector jobs, with the biggest increase coming in health services (5,600). Local public schools added another 2,800 employees.

Losers: A broad-ranging manufacturing decline, claiming a Miller brewery, a General Motors facility and several other factories, led to the loss of 6,900 jobs. Local electric and gas utilities shed 1,700 jobs, led by cuts at long-struggling Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Retailers took a big hit, too. Onondaga County lost 239 stores -- 7.3 percent of its total -- between 1990 and 1995. The number of building permits in Syracuse last year was the lowest in 43 years.

Leadership: With the area suffering a severe brain drain, business leaders began an effort to lure high-tech workers to spur growth.

Outlook: Very slow improvement. "A couple of years ago it looked like a mass exodus was going on," said Frank Ficarra, business officer of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267. "Now, some plants are expanding. We're trying to stop the leakage."

Youngstown, Ohio
Population: The metro area population was 595,215 in 1997, down 0.9 percent from 1990.

Job growth: 17,700 (up 7.7 percent).

Winners: The area had a net gain of 2,900 factory jobs. Local auto plants led the way, adding 3,200, and the remaining steel mills picked up 1,200 workers. The service sector grew more dramatically, adding 9,000 jobs. The health-care industry led the way, adding 3,900 jobs. Retailing held steady in the first half of the decade.

Losers: Trade in nondurable goods continues to fall, prompting the loss of 1,200 jobs. Local banks and financial companies shed 500 jobs.

Leadership: Local government is focusing on bringing new life to the former steel mill sites. They are being cleaned up and given away to new employers.

Outlook: Mildly upbeat. "Our old companies have retooled, reorganized and are now competing effectively in a global marketplace," says Reid Dulberger, senior vice president at the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce.

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