The Syracuse area has among the largest job shortfalls in the nation as a result of the pandemic-induced recession, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The metro area has the nation’s fourth worst job shortfall from the “pandemic recession,” Fed economists wrote in their report. The area had 8.1% fewer jobs in October 2021 than it did prior to the pandemic, they said.
Syracuse has plenty of company from other New York metros on the list of those with the largest job shortfalls. Among the nation’s largest 100 metro areas, Buffalo ranks second with an 8.7% shortfall, New York City third (8.3%), Albany 11th (6%), Rochester 13th (5.7%) and Long Island 14th (5.6%).
In addition, many of the smaller metros in the state, including Ithaca, Binghamton and Utica-Rome, have remaining job shortfalls well above the national average of 2.7%, according to the report.
The Fed said one reason for the remaining job shortfalls in New York is that the state suffered among the highest initial job losses during the pandemic and, thus, had a bigger hole to climb out of. The report notes that New York City emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic early on.
“As the economy began to recover last spring, job growth in the region generally matched or even exceeded that of the nation,” the report states. “But for the region to catch up, job growth needed to be well above average for a sustained period — a difficult feat in the midst of a pandemic with the labor market in turmoil and workers hard to find.”
The nation saw a 14.7% decline in jobs from February 2020 to April 2020. The Syracuse area saw a 17.1% decline.
The report said the closing of the Canadian border during the pandemic also likely depressed tourism and some cross-border business activity in parts of Upstate New York.