Revised jobs numbers viewed with caution

Mar 4, 2016

Newly revised numbers from the State Labor Department show Buffalo's job growth has not been as strong as previously declared. But one local economist is dubious of the new data.

More than a year ago, data showed hiring was up sharply. But the latest report pegs 2015's job growth as the slowest in six years and one-third of what was originally reported.

M&T Bank regional economist Gary Keith says given all of the construction underway in Buffalo, the revised numbers should be viewed with caution.  

"Numbers are based on where the ultimate company that employs these individuals is based, not so much where the individuals actually live. If you had, say, a Rochester contractor doing business on the medical campus, those numbers could, theoretically, be calculated as a Rochester employment," Keith told WBFO.

Keith says to better gauge the local economy other metrics need to be considered including home sales, auto sales, and sales tax collections. He says they indicate the region is still progressing and the revised state Labor Department numbers do not "pass the sniff test."