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CenterState CEO report: 65 percent of area firms expect to boost hiring this year

By Eric Reinhardt


Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO, addressed the gathering during the annual Economic Forecast breakfast held Wednesday at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse. (Photo provided by CenterState CEO)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A new report from CenterState CEO finds almost two-thirds of nearly 200 contributors surveyed (65 percent) expect an increase in jobs and hiring in 2020, up 10 percent from last year’s projections.

At the same time, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed anticipate increased sales or revenue in 2020, down 5 percent from the 2019 projections.

That’s according to the 2020 Economic Forecast for Central New York report that CenterState CEO released on Wednesday. Baldwinsville–based Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) conducted the survey.

The report includes the perspectives and projections of CenterState CEO members and business leaders from 17 industry sectors, and includes data from CenterState CEO on exporting, and industry and employment trends.

Besides the hiring and revenue projections, the survey found 60 percent expect to expand products and services in 2020, unchanged from the 2019 projections. And 49 percent anticipate they will increase capital investments, also unchanged from last year’s projections.

The report also found 74 percent of respondents describing their outlook for the strength of their business in 2020 as “strong or very strong.”

The economic-development organization released the report during its annual Economic Forecast breakfast held Wednesday at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse. More than 700 people attended the event to “gain insights into the region’s economic climate from the perspective of their peers and experts,” CenterState CEO said.


Regional outlook

In the event’s keynote address, Gary Keith, regional economist with M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), discussed regional economic trends from the past year, and the outlook for 2020.

“After battling choppy performance earlier in the decade, CenterState New York’s regional growth expanded solidly for the third consecutive year in 2019. Private-sector employers added 7,100 new jobs, more than double the year-ago total and the largest gain in several years,” Keith said. “However, as regional unemployment rates continuing to hover near their all-time low, it is essential that we have enough productive, well-trained workers available to meet employer needs. Continued public and private sector collaboration to address labor and skill shortages is critically important to sustaining and building upon the region’s recent economic progress.”

Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO, “challenged” the community to “set a new vision” for what could be achieved over the next decade and begin the work needed to ensure ongoing success.

“As we begin this new decade we do so with confidence that the regional economy is headed in the right direction,” said Simpson. “There is both statistical and anecdotal evidence that reinforces this optimism. The seeds of this progress were planted nearly a decade ago when we revised our approach to more strategically target investments in key projects and industries, and advance those efforts with a spirit of collaboration and a shared vision. As we look to the future we must tackle the opportunities and challenges before us with the same focus and dedication to ensure that this economic progress continues.”


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