I have no doubt that by now you are all well aware of the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) here in Rockland and across our State and Country. Instead of more of the same, I offer you this breath of fresh air and a reminder that there are so many positive things happening locally.
Here in Rockland we are seeing significant growth in both private sector employments and wages. Recently the Marist College Bureau of Economic Research released a special report on “Employment in the Hudson Valley 2018.”
According to the Report in Rockland County, private-sector employment advanced 2.4 percent on the year, higher than both the region (1.4%) and the state (1.5%).
The top five fastest-growing industries (from 2017 to 2018) were arts, entertainment and recreation (10.7%); real estate (8.4%); health care and social assistance (7.7%); agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (6.7%); and construction (5.5%). At year-end, these five industries accounted for 34.9% of total private-sector employment (37,868 jobs) compared to 33.2% (35,234 jobs) in 2017.
That is a lot of numbers, but they clearly show that our focus on retaining, expanding, attracting and creating businesses is paying off for our residents. We will continue to work towards making sure our residents have the skills necessary to benefit directly from this impressive level of growth.
The Report also noted that Private-sector wages rose 2.4% on the year, which was higher than both the region (2.1%) and the state (2.2%).
All of these numbers are proof of the diversity of our economy which is a guard against over-reliance on one or two industries. Our efforts to cultivate and promote targeted market sectors such as hospitality and tourism, film and digital media, food and pharma and data-tech are creating opportunities for workforce talent at all levels to participate in this economic expansion and position the county well for the future.
Plans to grow the economy were laid out when I first took office in 2014 and implemented immediately. Small business, manufacturing, retail, tourism and more are building the foundation of economic strength that we need to ensure future vitality. Together we have brought back $8.4 BILLION in ratables. This is how we protect homeowners from the double-digit tax increases of the past.
Despite any short-term adversity that we may face, we are well positioned to lead Rockland into the bright future we all deserve. We are growing strong.