Job Growth Accelerates in Rochester Metro in October and November

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The rate of job growth in the Rochester region accelerated in October and November according to figures released by the New York State Department of Labor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After expanding 0.6% in September, the regional economy added jobs at an annual rate of 1.0% and 1.4% in October and November, respectively. From October 2018 to October 2019, the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) grew by 5,500 jobs. Preliminary November-to-November data reflect a 7,900-job expansion. The November growth rate exceeds the statewide average by two-tenths of a percent and ranks Rochester (along with Syracuse) as the third-fastest growing region in the state behind Ithaca (2.4%) and NYC (1.7%).

The Rochester MSA has added jobs every month so far in 2019, and the annual growth rates in October and November were the year’s fastest to-date. October represented the first time the region’s total nonfarm employment level surpassed 550,000, a level that continued into November.

The performance also moved the Rochester MSA into the top-30 of the 53-metro benchmark group against which ROC2025 evaluates the region’s economic performance. Its October job growth rate exceeded that of peer metros like Richmond, VA (0.9%), Bridgeport, CT (0.9%), Greensboro, NC (0.7%), Memphis, TN (0.7%), Buffalo, NY (0.6%), Charleston, SC (0.3%), and Grand Rapids, MI (0.2%).

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital investment have been made by businesses expanding in the Greater Rochester, NY region to fuel this job growth. American Packaging Corporation, Bausch & Lomb, CloudCheckr, IEC Electronics, LiDestri Food & Drink, Optimax and Security Risk Advisors are a few who have recently invested in our community to leverage Rochester’s highly talented workforce and innovation assets. GRE is working with a number of other businesses considering the area for additional investment and job creation in the near future.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “These latest numbers validate the fact that the Rochester and Finger Lakes region has world-class talent and outstanding companies ready to put people to work. Moving forward as part of Rochester Chamber’s ROC2025 role in talent strategy, our goal is to take the region’s workforce development and recruitment efforts to a new level. Rochester Chamber serves to act as a convener between companies, job candidates, and workforce development resources while making people aware of the great programs and initiatives available to them. It our intention to serve as the glue between existing services and stakeholders. We aim to streamline relationships and become more agile in the process while developing new, innovative approaches that reach a diverse cross-section of our workforce and employer communities.”

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation said, “What we know is that business is chasing talent nationwide, and young talent is attracted to places with vibrant center cities. Over the past decade, Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone (DIZ) has become one of our most important drivers for regional economic development. With $2.35 billion in downtown investment since the year 2000, there are now 194 innovation and creative class enterprises in the DIZ, and downtown’s residential population has swelled to 7,780. With 19 housing projects in the pipeline that number will continue to grow. Dramatic and landscape-changing development projects like ROC the Riverway, the fill-in of the southeastern Inner Loop, and multiple new buildings just opened and under construction, are creating a real and tangible magnet for both talent attraction and future economic growth.”

About ROC2025

ROC2025 is an alliance of private and public sector economic development organizations committed to accelerating economic growth in Greater Rochester by deepening capacity and coordination in five priority areas:

  • Business retention and expansion;
  • Business attraction;
  • Talent strategy;
  • Regional branding and marketing; and
  • Downtown development.

More information is available at

Contact: Joseph Stefko (585) 210-8460