The economy has proven to be something of a roller coaster over the past ten years. In honor of the 10 year anniversary of YNN, Bill Carey looks back at the major changes in the local economy.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- "My grandfather retired from here. My father retired from here. I thought I would too," said a Carrier worker.
It was common refrain from workers across the region over the past ten years as the local economy continued its shift away from the large manufacturing plants of the past.
Some of the places that had steadily provided jobs for plant workers for decades were now gone, including Carrier, New Process Gear, and Bombardier. Other plants that haven't left the region have severely downsized, including Crucible Steel.
When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the area was already in a slump, and unemployment numbers soared. However, steps were taken for a comeback. Downtown Syracuse saw many buildings transform into condominiums. This came after young, affluent workers chose to live in hot spots like Armory Square.
New York State launched a new program geared towards bankrolling new projects. The focus switched to high tech industries that would slowly grow to provide more jobs. There were also steps taken to boost industries such as agriculture. New York State became a large producer of yogurt, as local dairy farmers enjoyed the benefit of a new market for their products.
Fortunately, the lack of economic growth helped New York avoid some of the impact of the housing bubble that was part of the 2008 downturn. Because housing prices didn't spiral out of control in Central New York, the number of foreclosures tied to the recession was far lower than some of the other states.
Consumers still struggled to make ends meet though. Ten years ago, it was considered a huge decrease when gas prices climbed to more than $2 per gallon. Gas prices and fuel also leads to the controversial conversation of hydrofracking.
Energy companies have argued that New York State could reap the benefits of hydrofracking to extract natural gas from underground deposits of shale. The industry said there are thousands of jobs that would accompany the effort. However, environmentalists have made blocking hydrofracking their number one priority.