Economy

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 Eva McKend and 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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Why Major Labor Unions Want to See Taxes Hiked for Rich

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Ten major labor unions in New York, including the state AFL-CIO, are pushing for a tax increase on the highest earners in New York as the state faces a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.

The push for more revenue by increasing taxes on billionaires and "ultramillionaires" comes as the economic crisis could lead to cuts for health care, schools and local governments in New York without significant federal aid.

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New York AFL-CIO Seeks COVID Protections for Workers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Protections for workers to guard against coronavirus as well as strengthened health care benefits are dominating the 2021 agenda for the New York State AFL-CIO.

The labor group late last week approved a package of priorities for the comnig year that focuses heavily on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers and the protections that need to be put in place for their safety.

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New York Restaurants Say They Are Worse Off

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York restaurants are facing significant headwinds amid a resurgent pandemic and are in worse circumstances than their counterparts across the country, according to an industry survey.

The survey found 54% of New York restaurants do not expect to survive the next six months without some form of federal relief, compared to 37% of restaurants nationwide.

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Federal Aid for the Unemployed Faces Renewal

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Federal aid for people who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire at the end of December unless Congress acts in the coming weeks.

At the same time, New York along with other states will be seeing additional effects of federal support sunsetting, including support for hospitals amid a surge of coronavirus cases that is expected to crest through the holiday season.

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New York City Continues to Lead Unemployment in State

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York City continues to take the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic's economic pain as joblessness remains stubbornly high compared to the rest of the state.

Regional unemployment rate numbers released on Tuesday once again showed a tale of two states, only in the reverse of what's usually the case of wealthy New York City and economically troubled upstate.

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Hunger for Thanksgiving, Anxiety for Small Business Owners This Thanksgiving in COVID-19 Economy

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

No one was talking about the Dow hitting 30,000 when Pastor Ronnie Mills on Tuesday began handing out turkeys to hungry people on Lark Street.

"So many people are out of work with the COVID disease and so many people are dying," he said through a blue mask around his face. "We've been doing it for five years and so it's an ongoing thing with us."

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Lawmakers Want to End Delay on COVID-19 Stimulus

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers on Wednesday called for the passage of a coronavirus stimulus measure as positive cases are resurgent in every state in the U.S.

And they want it done sooner rather than later.

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Bill Would Protect Storage Unit Possessions During Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman New York State

State lawmakers this week introduced a bill designed to protect possessions kept in storage units from being put to auction for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic as customers struggle to pay the unit's rental fees.

The measure was introduced after a wave of storage unit auctions were held in New York during the pandemic.

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New York's Unemployment Picture Continues to Vary

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Think of the map of New York like a funnel: On the edges are parts of Upstate New York like Albany and Ithaca where unemployment is high, but at a relatively lower level than New York City.

And New York City would be the funnel's mouth: A yawning 13.9% joblessness rate that's higher than the statewide 9.7% average in September, according to regional labor statistics released on Tuesday.

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New York's Unemployment Falls to 9.7% in September

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's statewide unemployment rate fell in September from 12.5 percent to 9.7 percent as the private sector added 75,300 jobs, according to numbers released Thursday by the state Department of Labor.

In New York City, unemployment fell from 16 percent to 14.1 percent as the tourism and hospitality industries continue to face the brunt of the pandemic's aftershocks.

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New York City's Billon-Dollar Restaurant Industry Takes Deep Hit

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The restaurant industry last year in New York City was a multi-billion sector of the economy, generating more than 300,000 jobs and doing $27 billion in taxable sales.

It's a much different picture in the plague year of 2020, however, as the industry has been battered by the coronavirus and economic shutdown to halt its spread.

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Housing Advocates Wanted a Better Debate, Too

BY Nick Reisman New York State

This week's presidential debate between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden was more of a food fight than exchange of weighty policy issues.

But that's left out some key issues for advocacy groups that affect basic tenants of life -- issues like affordable housing.

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Unemployment Rates Vary Across New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Statewide, New York's unemployment picture is this: Declining from Depression-era unemployment earlier this year due to the pandemic-induced shutdown, the state's unemployment rate fell from 15.9 percent in July to 12.4 percent in August.

But across the state, the joblessness picture is less clear. It's not a tale of two states; it's a tale of four or five states.

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How to Fix the Upstate Economy? One Group Has a Proposal

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Delaying an increase in the minimum wage upstate, halting an expansion of farmworker labor benefits and reducing sales and income taxes are among the proposals from the pro-business Unshackle Upstate in a report meant to boost growth in the region's economy.

The report comes as upstate New York, like the rest of the country, is struggling amid the recession created by the coronavirus pandemic.

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How One Small Business Group Is Judging Albany This Election Year

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The NFIB on Thursday is set to release its voting record report, assessing two years' worth of economic and small business issues put before lawmakers in Albany.

The group, which represents small businesses, included measures for small business regulatory reform, expanded labor rights and benefits for farmworkers, an expansion of the prevailing wage and a measure meant to reduce the state's carbon footprint.

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MTA Faces Dire Need for Federal Help, NY Officials Say

BY Nick Reisman New York City

New York City's mass transit system is in dire need of a federal aid package or risk a potentially costly borrowing plan and fare hikes, state officials on Thursday warned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's finances were devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown. Commuters stayed home or largely avoided trains, buses and subways and fares plummeted to levels never seen before, starving the MTA of revenue.

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Recession Creates Hunger; How People Are Pitching In

BY Nick Reisman New York State

When you meet Sister Betsey Van Deusen the first impression you get is she's tough to keep up with.

It's understandable given how busy she is these days as the coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on the economy. Millions of people are out of work. Social safety nets spread thin. People on the margins can fall through the cracks.

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New York's Unemployment Rate Remains High, But Jobs See Gains

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's unemployment rate continued to climb, reaching 15.9% in July even as the private sector added jobs last month, the state Department of Labor on Thursday reported.

The state saw an increase of 244,200 jobs, a 3.6% increase in July. But issues remains as the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession lingers across the economy.

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Sales Tax Continued Slide in July

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Revenue from the sales tax for local governments fell $116 million or 8.2 percent during a similar period last year, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Wednesday said, as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The revenue decline is the latest monthly drop in sales taxes amid a pandemic that has closed businesses and left millions of people out of work.

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Why New York City's Finances Could Spell Trouble for All of New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York City was not in a good position to withstand the economic headwinds created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism has disappeared. Broadway has shuttered. Restaurants have been severely curtailed and many have closed. Sure, the stock market is doing well, but that's wholly different from middle and low-income jobs that have been lost or small businesses that have closed.

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Cuomo: $3 Billion New York Environmental Bond Act Postponed

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which would have been the largest in state history, was supposed to reduce the risk of flooding for vulnerable communities, restore habitat, and prepare the state for climate change.

It’s become another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Undocumented, Excluded Workers Need Pandemic Relief, Report Says

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Undocumented immigrants and excluded workers who do not currently qualify for unemployment aid should receive assistance through a special state fund, a progressive group found in a report to be released later Thursday.

The report from the Fiscal Policy Institute outlines the argument for the fund, which would affect about 5 percent of the state's workers and the 40,000 people who are being released from incarceration.

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Local Governments Have Lost Billions in Economic Activity

BY Nick Reisman New York State

County governments and New York City have lost a combined $13.5 billion in economic activity over two fiscal years that could lead to cuts in spending for services as well as a permanent loss of jobs, the New York State Association of Counties warned in a report released on Monday.

The report comes as Congress is negotiating the next coronavirus stimulus package that could include billions of dollars in aid to governments on the state and local level around the nation after their finances were devastated by the pandemic-induced recession.

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New York's June Unemployment Rate Hit 15.7%

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 4:25 PM ET Jul. 16, 2020

New York's unemployment rate increased to 15.7 percent last month, despite the private sector adding jobs to the economy, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

In New York City, which had been an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, more than one in five people are unemployed, a rate of 20.4 percent.

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As Economy Opens, New York Revenue Still Down

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As New York's economy was in the process of reopening last month, state tax revenue still lagged, a report released Thursday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.

Tax receipts in June were down $1.5 billion from the previous year, missing the mark by 17.3 percent.

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DeWitt Planning Board OKs Amazon Plant

BY Spectrum News Staff DeWitt

The Town of DeWitt Planning Board has approved a second proposed Amazon warehouse.

The future site splits the area off of Interstate 481 and Kirkville Road into two separate lots.

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Senate Democrats Open To Loan Approval For New York City

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York City should have "limited" authorization for a loan to bolster its coffers as the pandemic has ripped through the ciity's finances, but Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also urged patience in developing a plan.

The top Democrat in the state Senate over the weekend in a statement backed the concept of granting loan approval for New York City, a key step for Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.

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Bill Would Expand Earned Income Tax Credit as Pandemic Recession Will Likely Linger

BY Nick Reisman NY State of Politics Blog

A bill would expand the state's earned income tax credit in order to benefit low-income households that were likely hit hard by the economic fallout created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, is meant to provide a boost to those households amid widespread job losses and virtual lack of economic activity during the spring months in New York that shriveled tax coffers at all levels of government in the state.

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Cut to Services, Higher Taxes, and Debt: What Counties Face With Loss of Sales Tax Revenue

BY Nick Reisman New York State

In Erie County, 40 percent of its 2018 revenues came from the sales tax. Onondaga County's sales tax share was nearly 43 percent. And Broome County's sales tax accounted for more than a quarter of the cash it took in that year.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a significant budget problem for county and local governments that rely on sales taxes as a source of revenue as commerce drew to a standstill in mid-March and the economy is slowly reopening over the last several weeks in New York, a report released this week by Moody's found.

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Lawmakers Want to Tax the Rich to Fix Pandemic Battered Economy

BY Capital Tonight Staff City of Albany
UPDATED 10:15 AM ET Jun. 19, 2020

New York's richest residents should see their taxes increased in order to shore up a budget battered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to statement backed by 99 members of the state Assembly and Senate to be released on Thursday.

The statement, also backed a range of politically key labor unions and progressive organizations, calls for tax increases to offset the revenue losses in order to avoid deep cuts to spending to areas like health care and schools.

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Small Business Tax Credit For PPE Purchase Considered

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Congressional lawmakers on Wednesday announcd a propsal that would create a tax credit of up to $25,000 for small businesses to purchase personal protective equipment.

The tax credit would also benefit non-profits, veterans' organizations, independent contractors, farmers and those who are self-employed.

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New York Tax Receipts Tumbled In May

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

State tax receipts for May were down 19.7 percent compared to the year before, according to the monthly state cash report.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced the state was down $766.9 million in monthly tax earnings, pointing to a closed economy as the reason for this decline in revenue.

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5 Upstate Regions to Enter Phase 3 On Friday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Five regions of New York will enter the third phase of the economic reopening on Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday, as the state's progress on turning back the coronavirus continues to show gains.

The North Country, Central New York, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Mohawk Valley regions will enter the next phase, as tens of thousands of tests statewide show an average infection rate of less than 2 percent.

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Phase 2 Begins Today For Capital Region

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's Capital Region is set to begin the second phase of the economic reopening from the coronavirus pandemic today as hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to plummet statewide.

The reopening means office workers can return, retail stores can open for customers in their stores and, yes, you can get a haircut.

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Cuomo To Meet With Trump on Jump-Starting Post-Pandemic Economy

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to discuss ways of jump starting the New York economy through major infrastructure projects.

Cuomo on Tuesday sought to highlight efforts of reviving the flagging economy in New York, which has been brutally damaged by the coronavirus pandemic over the last two months.

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New York's Jobless Rate Hit 14.5 Percent In April

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Monthly records were broken in New York state as the number of unemployed continues to skyrocket and numerous businesses start to close their doors for good.

Unemployment rates in New York rose to 14.5 percent in April, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor.

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Bill Would Allow Bars, Restaurants To Continue Take-Out Drinks

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A socially distant "cheers" could still be in order after the current state of emergency ends for restaurants and bars.

State Senator Brad Hoylman on Thursday proposed allowing eateries and bars to continue offering wine, beer, and cocktails for take-out and delivery two years after the emergency declaration ends.

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SNAP Expansion Urged For Meal Delivery

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of groups, along with the ride hailing firm Uber, is urging state lawmakers to approve a measure that would expand the SNAP program to allow its use for delivered meals ordered through apps.

Meal delivery and curbside pickup in New York have been the sole options for restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic as non-essential businesses have closed since March.

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Western New York Permitted to Begin Reopening Tuesday

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Western New York is now set to start reopening on Tuesday, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, after it hired 525 contact tracers over the weekend.

Western New York will now be the sixth upstate region to start Phase 1 of the reopening process which allows construction companies, manufacturing companies and curbside pickup for retail stores to open back up.

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New York's Tax Revenue Collapsed in April

BY Nick Reisman New York State

File this under not surprising: New York’s revenue took a nosedive in April as the coronavirus pandemic shutdown the state’s economic activity, a report released Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

New York’s tax receipts totaled $3.7 billion, falling $7.9 billion from the previous April. That’s a 68.4 percent decline.

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Cuomo Signs Executive Order Approving Reopening For 5 Regions

BY Nick Reisman New York State

An executive order issued Thursday night by Governor Andrew Cuomo began the process of reopening some sectors of the economy in New York for 35 upstate counties.

Spread over five regions, the order in essence expands what is considered an “essential” business during the pandemic to businesses in construction, manufacturing and some retail for curbside customer pickup.

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Sales Tax Revenue Declined Sharply In April

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax revenue for local governments in April plummeted 24.4 percent compared to the same period last year, a report released Tuesday by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.

The sharp decline in revenue is the latest sign of the COVID-19 pandemic's toll on the health of the economy in New York and on local governments. This, in turn, could lead to cuts in spending for local governments or an increase in taxes elsewhere to make up the lost revenue.

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3 Upstate Regions to Begin Phase 1 Reopening on Friday

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that three regions of New York state are set to start Phase 1 of reopening on Friday, May 15.

So far, only the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, and the Southern Tier have met all seven metrics the governor created as a way to start safely reopening regions while also keeping track of numbers and staying prepared in case there is a second wave of the COVID-19 virus.

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3 Children In New York Die From Potentially COVID-19-Linked Illness

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The number of new coronavirus-related hospitalizations in New York continued to decline, though the death toll from the pandemic continued to remain above 200 people over the last 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.

And three children in New York have now died from a mysterious new illness believed to be linked to COVID-19.

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More Than $5.8B In Unemployment Benefits Paid Out in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York has paid out more than $5.8 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — a sign the economic toll from the crisis is a deep and widening one.

About 1.5 million New Yorkers are receiving benefits, and the Department of Labor on Wednesday said an additional 470,000 New Yorkers who did not receive their benefits because of certification errors.

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Labor Officials: Employers Must Provide Information For Unemployment Benefits

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York labor officials on Thursday called on the state’s employers to provide workers with the information they need when filing for unemployment benefits, including employer registration numbers, federal employer identification numbers, and full names and addresses of employers.

The missing information has been partially attributed to the backlog of claims at the Department of Labor during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic crisis.

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Pro Bono Legal Plan To Help People Secure Unemployment Benefits in NY Takes Shape

BY Morgan McKay New York State

The New York State Bar Association and state court system are offering pro bono legal services for people who need help in securing unemployment benefits.

Starting this week, NYSBA says that people can go to their website and be matched with a lawyer that will help them through the appeal process, free of charge, if their unemployment claims were denied.

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New York Assemblywoman Fahy Wants Federal WPA-Style Program

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy is reaching back to a Depression-era jobs program to jumpstart the economy and aid the millions fo people who have become unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fahy, an Albany Democrat, wants a modern-day version of the Works Progress Administration, a creation of President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration meant to boost employment during the depths of the depression.

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Unemployment Benefits Reach $3.1B in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

More than $3 billion in unemployment benefits have been distributed by the state Department of Labor since the pandemic began to the 1.4 million New Yorkers who requested help.

The money includes those who received aid under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

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DiNapoli: Pandemic Will Create Long-Term Financial Problems For New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State
UPDATED 9:57 AM ET Apr. 22, 2020

The economic crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic will take a multi-year toll on New York’s finances, with delayed tax payments this month alone costing the state as much as $10 billion, a report released Wednesday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The report comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has urged the federal government to provide direct relief to states during the pandemic.

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