Economy

Pre-pandemic, New York's resident taxpayer growth slowed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The number of resident taxpayers in New York state grew at a slower rate than the number of non-residents over a four-year period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report released on Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.

The report, which reviewed the period between 2015 and 2019, found resident taxpayers increased by 3.1% compared to non-resident filers increasing by 13.6%. The slower growth is attributed in part to the larger number of part-year filers moving out of New York than moving in.

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New York's unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in April

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's unemployment rate continued its modest downward trend, falling from 4.6% to 4.5% in April, the state Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The state's economy added 23,600 jobs in the private sector that month, a 0.3% increase to more than 7.9 million jobs. The U.S. private-sector job count also grew at a similar rate.

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Hochul: Resources available to address formula shortage

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state officials are moving to address the baby formula shortage that has affected supply chains across the country.

Gov. Kathy Hochul's office in a statement announced state health officials and the New York State WIC Program is monitoring supply chain disruptions that could affect participants and consumers.

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Credit union argues New York public banking bill will help underserved communities

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Last year, New York Sen. James Sanders introduced the “New York Public Banking Act," which would make it easier for public banks to operate in New York. It failed to pass, but he’s advocating for the act again this year (S1762B/A8290A).

Public banks are controlled by a government body rather than by private investors (it’s not a bank where you go to open up a checking account). They can also be institutional lenders — banks that other banks turn to for loans.

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New York business groups urge action on billions in unemployment insurance debt

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York owes billions of dollars in unemployment insurance to the federal government and advocates are worried the lingering effect could have long-term consequences for businesses in the state.

When businesses and public gathering spaces were shuttered two years ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of New Yorkers lost their jobs. After billions of dollars in unemployment was paid, businesses may be left holding the bag. Justin Wilcox of Upstate United said firms are already struggling with inflation, hiring and supply chain concerns.

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New York businesses encouraged to weigh in on Roe v. Wade debate

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Business experts are charging corporations across New York and the nation to weigh in on the U.S. Supreme Court's draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying businesses will play a critical role in helping people navigate the consequences surrounding the moral challenge.

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of nonprofit Partnership for New York City, wrote an op-ed in Barron's on Friday that businesses must evaluate the impact the potential court decision will have on their employees, employee benefits, policies and charitable giving and prepare to educate their staff about available reproductive health care where they work.

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New York officials to study 'underbanked' communities

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York regulators will conduct a study of communities that are lacking banking options and other basic financial services under a measure approved on Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The bill seeks to address a long-standing concern in low-income communities that banking options are limited, leading people to use check cashing services or payday loan businesses that often use large fees to process payments. Hochul's office also announced she has signed a bill that is meant to protect consumers by barring the issuing of unsolicited mail-loan checks.

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In New York minimum wage debate, both sides point to inflation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Progressive lawmakers, labor unions and advocates are calling for another increase in New York's minimum wage, arguing the high cost of living makes it necessary for low-wage workers to make ends meet.

But Republicans are pointing to record inflation over the last several months, arguing another hike in the wage law will only hurt businesses that are already in a sustained struggle following the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of goods.

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State comptroller: Consumer costs rising sharply in New York City area

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Consumer prices have risen sharply in the New York City area over a 12 month period ending in March, according to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office in an analysis released on Friday.

Federal data show the 6.1% increase in prices between March 2021 and last month were driven in large part by double-digit growth in energy and transportation costs. At the same time, price increases in the New York City area are set to outpace the growth in earnings.

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Deadline nearing for New York counties to cap gas sales tax starting this summer

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Counties in New York have until May 2 to cap sales tax on gasoline at either $4, $3 or $2 per gallon in order for that relief to go into effect on June 1.

New York State Association of Counties Deputy Director Mark LaVigne said seveal counties — Nassau, Suffolk, Onondaga, Oswego, Monroe,Dutchess and Oneida — have already taken some action.

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Local officials in New York call for public banking bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill that would enable the creation of public banks in New York has won the backing of dozens of local elected officials in 19 cities.

The officials in a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul and top lawmakers in the state Legislature released Monday called for the passage of the measure, which has stalled over the last year in Albany.

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Unemployment rate continues to fall in New York, but still lags nation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The unemployment rate in New York state continued to drop in March as the private sector added 27,500 jobs to the economy, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

New York's growth in jobs, at about 0.3%, matched the same rate of increase in the country in March. But the state as a whole continues to lag the rest of the country on average in its jobless rate, which stands at 3.6% nationally.

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Financial worries fall for local governments in New York after federal aid flows in

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Only a handful of city and village governments are facing fiscal stress after billions of dollars of federal aid flowed to New York in the last year, buoying budgets along the way, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found in a report released Wednesday.

The news could have positive implications for taxpayers and residents who rely on services local governments provide amid rising consumer costs and as spending returns to levels seen prior to the pandemic.

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Business groups: New York budget failed to get unemployment insurance fix

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An upstate New York-focused business coalition on Friday criticized the final state budget agreement announced on Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul for not including measures meant to relieve the burden of unemployment insurance debt on the private sector.

At issue is the soaring cost of unemployment insurance for businesses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings and businesses.

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Coalition wants to redefine New York 'economic development'

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

When New York Gov. Kathy Hochul took office in August, she promised greater transparency and accountability. But over the past seven months, good government groups have argued that she’s dropped the ball on those issues. They point to her voluminous fundraising among individuals and groups that have business before the state, as well as the $850 million agreement she just hammered out with the millionaire Pegula family for a new stadium to house the Buffalo Bills.

Now, a coalition of groups, including New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, the New York State Council of Churches and unions affiliated with SUNY and CUNY are saying the public is losing faith in state government, and in particular, the way New York state utilizes taxpayer dollars under the umbrella of economic development.

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Local control at issue in downstate New York casino talks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As state lawmakers negotiate whether to extend up to three casino licenses in the New York City metropolitan region, there's a debate over how much control local government officials and community leaders should have in deciding where the casinos would be built.

Lawmakers expect a final agreement on the casino licensing plan for New York City and the surrounding region will be included in a finalized state budget plan, which is expected to be approved in the coming days.

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New York lawmakers consider bills to crack down on pandemic price gouging

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are considering bills meant to crack down on COVID-19 pandemic-related price gouging and fraud.

Two bills on Tuesday cleared the state Assembly's Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee that would boost penalties for fraud and include medications that are facing supply shortages on a list of goods that cannot be sold at high prices under New York's anti-price gouging statute.

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Gas tax rebate or suspension remain on New York state budget table

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A rebate program in which households would receive a check or an outright suspension of the state taxes on gasoline remain on the negotiating table in the state budget talks, New York lawmakers on Tuesday said.

New York officials are discussing how to address the spiking the cost of gas, which remains above $4 a gallon in many parts of the state.

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New York lawmakers want gas tax relief 'in perpetuity'

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul negotiate potential ways of addressing the increased cost of gasoline in New York, some Republicans are calling for long-term relief.

But environmental organizations and transit organizations are skeptical a gas tax suspension or cap would have any benefit for the consumer, while at the same time starve mass transit systems and road and bridge projects of needed funding.

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New York's pension fund divests from Russian interests

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The New York state pension fund has divested from Russian companies and will continue to block new investments in firms connected to the country, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Friday announced.

DiNapoli's divestment is the latest effort by New York state officials in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, now entering its second month.

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Hochul says she's open to gas tax relief in New York state budget

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday confirmed top officials in New York are considering ways of providing some sort of relief at the gas pump for drivers in the state budget plan.

The budget talks have centered around a potential suspension of state taxes on per-gallon gasoline sales until the end of the year.

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Environmental groups urge rejection of New York gas tax suspension

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Prominent environmental, transit and good-government organizations on Friday urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to reject a proposed gas tax suspension in the state budget, arguing it would run counter to the state's efforts to combat climate change and deprive road improvement projects of funding.

Lawmakers and Hochul are negotiating a potential suspension of the tax that would run from May 1 to the end of the year as the per-gallon price of gasoline remains above $4 in many parts of New York.

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How rising costs could affect the campaign season in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As New Yorkers increasingly worry about the cost of filling up their gas tank and their grocery bills, candidates for governor are proposing ways of addressing the anxiety over inflation.

The discussions are partially the product of a state budget season in Albany overlapping with the ramping up of statewide political campaigns. But it also reflects issues that could still resonate with voters heading into the June primary and fall general election.

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New York state's unemployment rate dips below 5% in February

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The statewide unemployment rate dipped below 5% in February as the economy continued to slowly recover the jobs lost during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

The state Department of Labor on Thursday announced New York's private-sector unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.9% statewide. The private-sector job count increased in the state by 0.5% and added 39,800 jobs.

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Wall Street bonuses grew by 20% last year, comptroller says

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Bonuses on Wall Street increased by 20% in 2021 compared to the previous year, reaching a record $257,500 on average, a report released Wednesday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The estimate on bonuses is considered one of several top-line indicators for the broader health of New York City's and New York state's overall economic health given the outsized role Wall Street plays for the economy and government financial standing.

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Changes called for in New York's $5B business subsidies

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than a dozen organizations — ranging from non-partisan watchdog groups to progressive groups and labor unions — are pushing for changes in how New York spends $5 billion in subsidies meant to grow jobs, but often fall short of expectations and transparency.

The organizations, led by the good-government group Reinvent Albany, urged top lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly as well as Gov. Kathy Hochul to take up the changes as they negotiate a $216 billion budget plan expected to be approved next week.

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How state lawmakers want to make it cheaper to live in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Inflation has led to sharp increases in everyday goods — groceries and gas now cost a lot more. In New York, a high-cost state to begin with, pain from inflation and high gas prices can be felt even more.

But as state lawmakers negotiate a state budget due at the end of the month, there are bipartisan calls for trying to find ways of easing price burdens on consumers and taking less of a bite out of their wallets.

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Relief at the gas pump could come in the New York state budget

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Relief at the gas pump in New York could come as early as May 1 under a proposal advanced this week by Democrats in the state Legislature.

The proposal, which lawmakers want included in the final version of the state budget due at the end of the month, takes aim at New York's 48-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline by creating a seven-month suspension.

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State employment rate continues to recover, except in New York City

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's jobless rate picture remains a tale of two states as unemployment rates are far higher in the five boroughs of New York City than the rest of the state.

Numbers released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor show a slow, but steady recovery of jobs in nearly every region of upstate New York as well as on Long Island. But in New York City, the recovery has taken longer.

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New York's economic recovery remains fragile amid challenges

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul have big plans for New York state's budget this month: They want to increase direct aid to schools once again by a record amount, boost child care by billions of dollars and help the battered health care industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But New York's bruised economy remains in a fragile state. The uncertainties created by ongoing inflation, the war in Ukraine and gas prices above $4 a gallon have highlighted just how much can change as the budget is being negotiated in Albany.

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Hochul says labor jobs will drive climate projects

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The projects to strengthen New York's infrastructure from the worst effects of climate change while also building out projects for renewable energies like wind will be done with labor union jobs, Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday said.

Hochul was in Florida Friday morning for the New York Building Trades annual winter conference, pledging to prioritize jobs for labor in projects like the construction of wind turbines in the Albany area for construction off the shore of Long Island.

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How does New York's gas tax work?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The per-gallon price of gasoline is on the rise in New York state and across the country. Motorists on average are paying more than $4.30 for a gallon of gas as the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 have led to a supply crunch.

That's led some state lawmakers in New York to call for relief at the pump from the taxes drivers pay when filling up. But how does New York's gas tax actually work?

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New York's jobless rate fell slightly amid omicron surge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:57 PM ET Mar. 10, 2022

New York's economy added 20,600 jobs in the private sector in January as the omicron variant of COVID-19 led to a sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

The numbers released by labor officials show New York's unemployment rate decreased slightly from 5.4% to 5.3%. But it was not all good news.

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Hochul: No changes to state budget, for now, amid global financial uncertainty

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's state budget is being negotiated against the backdrop of increasing global uncertainty: war in Europe, rising gas prices and sanctions meant to stymie Russia's attack on Ukraine.

For now, Gov. Kathy Hochul is not making any changes to her proposed $216 billion spending plan with those concerns in mind. But she said Tuesday during a stop in suburban Albany County the future-year revenue that projected billions of dollars in budget surplus can't be counted on.

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Hochul: 'No guarantee' gas tax suspension will help motorists

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

There's no guarantee New York drivers will see a positive impact from the suspension of the state's sales tax on gasoline, though the issue remains under review, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday.

Hochul, in Rochester for an event with local officials, indicated, however, she is speaking with officials in her budget office and did not rule out taking action on the issue.

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New Yorkers 'feel powerless' as gas tops $4 a gallon

BY Ben Nandy Orange County

The price of gasoline has increased by 50 cents a gallon over just a month ago, and motorists may continue paying higher prices for as long as the war in Ukraine stretches on, industry experts said.

According to AAA, the national average price for regular gas is up to $3.84 per gallon, and the New York statewide average has reached $4.05 per gallon.

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State Assemblyman Santabarbara calls to lift gas tax in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Democratic state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara on Friday called for a suspension of the sales tax on gasoline as the price per gallon climbs above $4.

New York's tax on gasoline sales stands at just over 48 cents a gallon and nearly 47 cents for a gallon of diesel. Santabarbara's proposal would suspend the tax collection for a year.

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Hochul: Inflation-fighting measures under consideration

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 4:08 PM ET Feb. 23, 2022

Pressure on the cost of everyday purchases will likely continue upward amid geopolitical uncertainty and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday warned.

But Hochul, during an event in Newburgh, did not rule out efforts to further curtail inflationary costs such as a suspension of the gas tax in New York, while also pointing to measures in her $216 billion budget plan she said would put more money in peoples' pockets.

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U.S. Labor Department: New York has second-highest union membership rate

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:21 PM ET Feb. 23, 2022

The number of workers enrolled in a labor union in New York state increased slightly over the last year, according to numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Union membership in New York grew from 22% of wage and salary earners in New York in 2020 to 22.2% the following year, the department reported.

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As mask mandate ends in New York, what's next for businesses and their workers?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As Gov. Kathy Hochul lifts New York's indoor mask-or-vaccinate mandate for businesses, employers and their workers will be once again navigating the new normal of COVID-19 in which the virus is unlikely to be eradicated.

Still, for some industry advocates, the announcement on Wednesday was cheered as a step toward turning the page.

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Sales tax revenue snapped back in New York last year

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 3:15 PM ET Feb. 09, 2022

Sales tax collections by local governments in New York rose sharply in 2021 compared to the pandemic-ravaged 2020, a report released Wednesday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The report underscores the relatively quick snapping back of sales in 2021 as people became vaccinated and COVID-related restrictions on businesses were eased.

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New York unemployment still lags behind the nation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York businesses last month added 45,400 jobs last month and the state's unemployment rate fell from 6.6% to 6.2% in December, the state Department of Labor on Friday announced.

But the state's jobless rate continues to lag behind the rest of the country, and is far from recovering the jobs lost in the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, the unemployment rate in December stood at 3.9%.

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Hospitality app launches in the Triangle to help businesses fill shifts

BY Kyleigh Panetta Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. — According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 53,000 Americans got jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries in December. However, overall employment in those industries has gone down by 7.2% since February of 2020.

A new app called Gigpro launched in Raleigh last week, and it could help address the labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

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Advocates: Provide more help for excluded workers

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Advocates are calling for a permanent solution for the temporary excluded workers fund, which provided $2.1 billion in unemployment for undocumented New Yorkers in this year’s budget.

Just nine weeks after the fund opened, all the funding had been allocated.

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UAlbany expert on dealing with inflation while on a fixed income

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

It’s not news that the U.S. is experiencing the highest inflation it’s seen in 40 years. You likely figured that out after gassing up your car or going grocery shopping over the past few months.

But if you’re on a fixed income, inflation can be more than a nuisance, even with the recent 6% increase in Social Security. Here’s how Mel, a Capital Tonight viewer, sees the issue:

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New York's unemployment rate dipped to 6.6% in November

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 12:54 PM ET Dec. 16, 2021

New York state's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be more sluggish than the rest of the country as the jobless rate fell last month from 6.9% to 6.6%, according to state labor officials on Thursday.

The state added 24,200 private-sector jobs, the Department of Labor said.

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White House braces for potentially high inflation report Friday

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide

Biden administration officials on Thursday sought to downplay a possible jump in inflation — saying that a report due out Friday might not reflect the actions the administration has taken to reduce consumer prices and energy costs.

Friday’s report will come on the heels of one from October which showed that consumer prices jumped 6.2% compared with a year prior, the fastest gain in more than three decades.

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Many areas see unemployment improve, but New York City remains high

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Regional unemployment data released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor show many regions of New York have had their unemployment rates fall below 4% in October.

But the jobless rate remained stubbornly high in New York City last month as Broadway reopens and there is a push to strengthen the hard-hit hospitality and tourism sector.

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DiNapoli: Sales tax revenue increased in October

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax collections on the local level in October increased by 12.9% compared to the same time period a year ago, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Friday announced.

Revenue from all local governments reached more than $1.5 billion, an increase of $175 million from October 2020.

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New York restaurant owners are asking feds to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

The chill of winter has hit upstate New York, which means fewer people who will want to eat outdoors.

But restaurant owners, who are still struggling to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic, are concerned this will mean fewer customers, pointing to a steep decline in the number of people wanting to eat inside, citing concerns over COVID-19.

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Unemployment claims hit new pandemic low of 269,000

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide
UPDATED 2:18 PM ET Nov. 04, 2021

Unemployment claims continue to fall, a sign of economic recovery in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

New unemployment claims hit another pandemic low of 269,000 for the week ending in Oct. 30, falling 14,000 from the week prior, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

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Hochul signals opposition to raising taxes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Increasing taxes on upper income earners and the wealthy in New York could hinder the state's economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday morning.

"I'm not interested in driving people out of state. I believe that we have a right balance right now, I'm not interested in pushing anybody over because those individuals high net worth individuals, allow us to have the revenue generated as well as their many philanthropic contributions, that I need to be able to support the progressive programs I want to have funded," Hochul said during a question-and-answer session at an event sponsored by City & State magazine and AARP New York.

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Unemployment in New York continues slow decline

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's unemployment rate last month fell from 7.4% to 7.1%, driven by a modest increase in the private-sector job count, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

The state's economy added 14,800 in the private sector, an increase of about 0.2%, and slightly slower than the national rate of 0.3%.

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Job count down, but earnings are up on Wall Street; what that means for New York state

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Earnings on Wall Street continued their good run, recording $31 billion in the first half of the year even as the industry continued to shed jobs at an increased pace, a report released Thursday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The health of the financial securities industry is key for what could be coming in the next New York state budget season given the outsized role the personal income tax and Wall Street have on the state's overall economy.

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Will New York's excluded workers fund be replenished?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Money in New York's excluded workers fund will run dry by the end of the month — leading advocates and lawmakers to call for it be replenished.

But whether that happens remains an open question: Gov. Kathy Hochul did not commit this week to doing so in the short term, and the state budget next year remains an open question.

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Hochul doesn't rule out replenishing excluded worker fund

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state is unlikely to replenish an excluded worker fund with another multi-billion dollar pot of money, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday said at a news conference.

But she did not rule out working with state lawmakers heading into the next budget season to come up with more money, as well as find ways of boosting employment among needy people who did not qualify for federal pandemic relief.

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Progressives, business groups assess upstate minimum wage hike

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The minimum wage in upstate counties in New York will increase by 70 cents on the first day of 2022. But the broader fight over the wage in the future may be starting soon in Albany.

Progressives on Tuesday called for a higher wage for upstate workers, who will have their minimum hourly pay grow from $12.50 to $13.20 at the onset of 2022.

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Hochul open to breaking with Cuomo-era economic program

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Each year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo would gather local business leaders, chambers of commerce officials and state lawmakers for a awards-show style event that doled out millions of dollars in economic development grants.

His successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, indicated Friday she's willing try to something different when it comes to state efforts to stimulate job growth, made all the more complicated amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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New York unemployment rate fell to 7.4% in August

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's unemployment rate between July and August fell from 7.6% to 7.4% and the economy added 28,000 jobs in the private sector, the state Department of Labor announced on Thursday.

The state added more jobs at a faster clip than the rest of the country, but New York's unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, at 5.2%.

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How New York's budget picture brightened

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's budget picture has brightened considerably since the COVID-19 pandemic froze the state's economy and led to deep uncertainty over the state's financial future.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that New York's revenue is expected to be $2.1 billion higher in each of the next four years, and budget gaps for the 2024-2025 fiscal year will be reduced by nearly $2 billion.

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New York's sales tax revenue continues to rise

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax collections at the local government level continued rise last month compared to a year ago, increasing by more than 15.5%, New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Wednesday announced.

Statewide, sales tax collections grew by more than $1.5 billion, DiNapoli said.

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Comptroller Report: New York unemployment insurance debt could stunt economic recovery

BY Ryan Whalen New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new report from the New York State Comptroller's Office warns the state needs to find ways to shrink its outstanding balance to the federal government after borrowing to pay unemployment insurance claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If it does not, employers will see a further increase in taxes that threatens to stunt economic recovery. According to th report issued Thursday, a historic surge in claims at the beginning of the pandemic quickly depleted the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

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New York's sales tax growth slows

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The good news: Revenue from the sales tax in New York has continued to surge compared to this point a year ago when the state's economy was largely frozen in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bad news: That monthly increase is getting smaller as the spread of the delta variant of the virus has introduced a new level of uncertainty for businesses and public health officials.

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New York business community greets coming Hochul administration

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The state's business community hopes the change in administration in the next week will help end a leadership vacuum and provide more certainty as Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has pledged a renewed focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 health and economic crisis creates new challenges daily for the more than 2 million small businesses that call New York home," said NFIB New York Senior State Director Greg Biryla. "To defeat COVID, every New Yorker, every stakeholder, and every contributor to our economy needs to work together with some common purpose. That can’t happen without clear, decisive, and trusted leadership in state government, which has been eroded and destroyed in recent months."

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Local and state sales tax revenue continues to grow in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax revenue in New York between April and June skyrocketed compared to the same period last year, a rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many businesses and gathering places around the state, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office announced Friday.

Revenue from the tax grew by 49.2% during the second quarter of the year compared to the same time period last year, totaling more than $1.6 billion. The amount of money passed collections during the second quarter of 2019 as well prior to the pandemic and a sign of pent up demand being unleashed.

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Job recovery in New York remains uneven across the state

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Last June, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an economic crisis and skyrocketing unemployment, with New York City reporting nearly one in five people out of work.

A year later, new data from the state Department of Labor shows the unemployment rates in many metro areas of the state have been reduced, some by more than half. But New York City continues to lag.

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New York added 9,800 jobs in June; unemployment dips slightly

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's private-sector job count grew by 0.1% in June, adding 9,800 jobs to the economy, and the unemployment rate fell slightly from 7.8% to 7.7%, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

Nationally, the spate of job growth was faster last month, with the private-sector job count growing by 0.5%. The national unemployment rate was 5.9% in June.

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New York unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% in May

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's unemployment rate last month dipped below 8% as the private sector added 17,500 jobs in May, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

The jobless rate in New York fell from 8.2% to 7.8% based on those gains of about 0.2% in the last month, the report found.

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Sales tax revenue in New York grows by more than 57%

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax collections in New York grew by 57.8% in May over the same month a year ago in yet another sign the state's economy is rebounding, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Wednesday announced.

Revenue reached $140 billion from the sales tax in May, an increase of $530 million from last year when the COVID-19 pandemic largely closed most businesses in New York.

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Labor Secretary: May jobs report shows U.S. economy 'moving forward'

BY Breanne Deppisch Nationwide
UPDATED 5:48 PM ET Jun. 04, 2021

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh highlighted the bright spots of a new monthly jobs report on Friday, telling reporters that in the months to come, "we’re going to start to see more and more people get back into the economy.”

His remarks come on the heels of a newly-released jobs report released Friday morning, which showed that the U.S. added 559,000 jobs in May, more than doubling gains from the previous month, even as the number of employed Americans continues to hover far below pre-pandemic levels.

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U.S. adds 266K jobs in April, unemployment rate rises to 6.1%

BY Spectrum News Staff Nationwide
UPDATED 6:31 PM ET May. 07, 2021

The United States economy added 266,000 jobs in April, according to a monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that hiring has slowed from March's breakneck hiring pace as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure fell far short of the expectations of economists who predicted the country would add as many as 1 million jobs. The unemployment rate is 6.1%, up a slight tick from the previous 6% figure.

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Gillibrand: Federal Reserve should help close racial gaps in employment

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants to use the power of the Federal Reserve to help close the racial employment and wage gaps in the United States and issue progress reports on existing inequalities.

Gillibrand is backing a bill with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren that would use the central bank's regulatory authority to address disparities in employment and wages, which have been made worse during the pandemic, she said.

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Cuomo calls for SALT cap repeal in infrastructure bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The proposed $1.9 trillion infrastructure package working its way through Congress should include a repeal of the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said.

Cuomo at a news conference in New York City pointed to the new $212 billion state budget that will include a continuous phase-in of tax rate reductions for middle-income earners and a property tax credit.

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How New York's financial picture is brightening

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A year ago as millions of New Yorkers were staying home, tax revenue dried up and state officials had to borrow money to keep state operations afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twelve months later, New York's financial picture has brightened significantly, a report released Thursday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

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Job Recovery in New York is Slow a Year After Shutdown

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Unemployment spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses closed and public event spaces shuttered. But which industries were affected the most?

A report released by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office on Tuesday found the nearly 2 million jobs that were lost between February and April of last year were disproportionately felt in the leisure and hospitality sector.

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Many Bay Area Seniors Await 3rd Stimulus Check. Here's Why:

BY Angie Angers Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. — Many anxious seniors across the Tampa Bay area are still waiting for their third round of stimulus checks.

According to a letter sent by leaders in the House Ways and Means Committee last week, the hiccup is because the IRS was waiting on necessary payment files from the Social Security Administration.

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Trouble Reserving a Rental Car? You're Not Alone

BY Jorja Roman Florida
UPDATED 6:45 AM ET Mar. 27, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Travelers across the country have experienced issues renting vehicles in recent weeks. Spectrum Bay News 9 spoke to Jonathan Weinberg, Founder and CEO of AutoSlash.com to find out why.

He says this past weekend, 18 out of 20 airports in Florida were sold out of rental vehicles.

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Report Finds $3.5B Needed for Aiding Excluded Workers During Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As state lawmakers this month consider the creation of a fund to aid workers who do have not qualified for federal stimulus aid and other benefits during the pandemic, a progressive think tank in a new report found $3.5 billion is needed to provide support.

The report by the Fiscal Policy Institute to be released on Thursday comes as state lawmakers have proposed $2.1 billion in benefits for undocumented workers and people who have left incarceration during the pandemic.

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Crystal River Airport In Need of Improvements, Expanding

BY Katya Guillaume Citrus County

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — The Crystal River Airport is a staple in the city and brings in millions of dollars to the economy, but it needs improvements.

For decades, corporate and private jets have taken off and landed at the airport.

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How Marijuana Could Become a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The legalization of retail marijuana sales in New York has the potential to create a multi-billion-dollar industry within the decade, according to an economic analysis set to be released on Wednesday.

The report, by New School economist James Parrot and labor market consultant Michele Mattingly, comes as state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo this year are once again considering whether to approve a framework for allowing retail-level marijuana sales in New York amid a budget gap and economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New York Blocks $5.5B in Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Since the start of the pandemic, New York has paid out more than $65 billion in unemployment claims to 4 million people seeking aid.

But at the same time, officials have found 425,000 fraudulent claims, blocking more than $5.5 billion from being stolen, state Department of Labor officials on Tuesday said.

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DiNapoli: Sales Tax Collections Dropped 10% in 2020

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax revenue for local governments in New York in 2020 dropped by 10%, a sign the COVID-19 pandemic has put municipalities around the state in a deep financial hole.

A report released on Tuesday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found sales tax statewide fell $1.8 billion compared to the previous year. The steepest drop was in New York City, where the pandemic hit earliest and hardest in the country.

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New York Senate GOP Unveils Restaurant Aid Package

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republicans in the state Senate on Tuesday unveiled a package of measures meant to aid the restaurant industry as it continues to be battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures address a range of issues, from tax costs to layoffs and fees charged by delivery apps as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on both employers and restaurant workers.

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Cuomo: Economic "Valve" Can Be Adjusted as COVID Cases Decline

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Parts of New York's economy shutdown due to a spike in COVID-19 cases can begin to reopen as a year-end increase in cases is starting to decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said.

Projections developed for the state have shown cases are expected to continue to fall, Cuomo said during a stop at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

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New York Wades Back in to Legalized Cannabis Debate

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Legalizing sales of cannabis products at the retail level is once again expected to be part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget this year, he announced Wednesday, once again igniting a debate over how New York should approach the issue.

The measure has stalled in the past not over whether marijuana should be legalized, but over the specifics of how to do it. How should it be taxed? How should communities affected by drug laws benefit? Where can cannabis products be sold? Should New Yorkers be allowed to grow small amounts of the plant on their own?

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Cuomo Bet on a Democratic U.S. Senate. Now What?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was seeking the equivalent of a political bank shot: Joe Biden wins the presidency, Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate, and New York gets a friendlier Washington that could lead to direct aid for a beleaguered state budget.

On Wednesday, the verdict came in: The Democrats have full, if narrow, conrol of Washington with victories by both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in a pair of runoff elections in Georgia.

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Cuomo to Extend Eviction Ban, Lawmakers Seek Stronger Measure

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to approve an extension on a ban on residential evictions in New York that is due to expire on Sunday. The move comes, however, as state lawmakers are considering a measure that could strengthen the moratorium.

"Obviously we update these things as we go," said Melissa DeRosa, the governor's top adivsor on Wednesday. "We're not going to let anybody whose evicted due to these circumstances be evicted."

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On-Demand Industry Launches Coalition

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Companies that provide on-demand services through apps like Uber and DoorDash have formed a coalition ahead of a likely debate in Albany over regulations for the sector.

The coalition, set to be announced on Monday, includes companies Lyft, Uber, Instacart, Postmates and DoorDash as well as advocacy organizations like the NAACP New York Conferene and business organizations The Long Island Association and the Business Council.

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New York's Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.4%

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's statewide unemployment rate fell last month from 9.2% in October to 8.4% in November, the state Department of Labor is set to announce on Thursday.

There were 36,300 private-sector jobs added, 0.5% increase in the state compared to 0.3% nationally.

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COVID-19 Stimulus Deal Coming for Christmas, But States Feel Left Out in Cold

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package is heading toward a final agreement in Washington. It's a breakthrough for who will benefit: People who have lost their jobs amid the pandemic and will have their benefits extended. Small businesses that are trying to be made partially whole as new cases surge throughout the country and keeping people home.

The losers: State governments, and local governments, that have lost billions of dollars in revenue and have been pushing for direct aid since the spring.

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Upstate New York's Minimum Wage Phase-In Will Continue

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The minimum wage outside of the New York City metropolitan region will grow to $12.50 at the end of the year and $14 in the suburban counties, the state Department of Labor announced on Wednesday.

The announcement came alongside a report on the state's economic picture, which has been tarnished by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York's unemployment rate in October stood at more than 9%, with the highest unemployment rate in New York City.

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Sales Tax Continues to Slide; Local Governments Press for Help

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Here are two bad data points for local governments in New York as the pandemic continues to surge and the economy continues to suffer: Sales tax revenue continued its slide and help from Washington won't be coming in a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus measure about to be agreed upon in Congress.

Local governments are facing their worst financial headwinds since the 2008 recession as revenue continues to dry up amid the pandemic, making budgeting for next year a significant challenge given the uncertainty surrounding support from the federal government.

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SNAP Online Order Program to Expand Under New Law

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A pilot program that allows people who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP to purchase groceries online is being expanded under a measure approved Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The law was approved as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in New York and across the country. Lawmakers approved the bill as another tool in limiting the spread of the virus, especially for vulnerable people.

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