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Job growth in Buffalo Niagara region hits 16-year high

Chris Caya

Job growth in the Buffalo Niagara region has reached its strongest point in 16 years.  State Labor Department numbers show that over the last year, 12,700 new jobs have been created in the area. The growth spans almost every sector, including the construction industry, which hit a 25-year high in June.

Governor Cuomo was in Buffalo this week to announce a new job training center. Cuomo said the region’s economic upswing can no longer be disputed.

“There is a new Buffalo, it is coming back and that is undeniable,” he said.  “Even the most severe cynics say I heard it before, I don’t believe it, it’s a flash in the pan, it’ll change.  All the cynics have been disproven, on every set of numbers you see the resurgence that is Buffalo.”

The region added jobs at a 2.3 percent annual pace, according to Labor Department data, second in the state only to the New York City area.  Mayor Byron Brown believes the positive news is just the beginning.

“Our economy is growing with the new energy the Governor’s Buffalo-Billion has injected, the sky is the limit,” Brown said.  Over the next couple of years it is expected another 12,000-plus new jobs are going to be created in the city of Buffalo.”

The new data shows 34 straight months of growth, the longest span since 1990.  Job growth was a key theme earlier this week as the state announced the new job training center planned on Northland Avenue on Buffalo’s East Side.  Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Buffalo Democrat, is convinced the region has finally stepped out from the shadows.

“We are not in the steel mill any more, we are in the 21st century economy,” Peoples said.  “Buffalo has finally stepped up and we have been able to do that because we have had the support of this man right here: Governor Cuomo.”

WBFO's Chris Caya contributed to this report.

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