Are Governor Cuomo's Economic Development Programs Working?

Jun 9, 2017

Credit Marguerite Jones / WSKG

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs have been criticized for a lack of results. He's said they’ll bring jobs to the state, others argue that’s not happening.

Joe Spector is the Albany Bureau Chief for the Gannett Papers. He and his colleagues investigated Cuomo's economic development programs. Read the rest of the stories here, here and here.

WSKG's Gabe Altieri sat down with Spector to discuss his reporting. 

On whether the spending has created jobs:

Joe Spector: It's been really a tale of two states. New York City, jobs are up. Upstate, the labor force is down. When you look at the overall picture, the unemployment rate is down all across the state and the Governor has talked regularly about that. The problem is you look at the labor force, the number of people who are working, and, while it's up in New York City, it's down in the rest of the state. 

On whether it's fair to expect results so soon: 

JS: When you talk to state officials they'll say 'listen, we're trying to reverse what is decades of manufacturing job decline and population declines'. So, you know, the Governor's initiatives are somewhat, if you just take a broad look, are still kind of in their infancies. 

On whether these programs are transparent enough:

JS: [The Regional Economic Development Councils] have public meetings, but the voting [on what projects get funding] is done behind closed doors. Some lawmakers that I've spoken to said that they've sought what the votes are on these projects, and, you know, they can't get it.