Not only are the temperatures in Rochester chilly, but the job market is reportedly ice-cold, too.
Rochester came in dead last in a ranking of the country’s 53 hottest job markets published by the Wall Street Journal last week. The study dubbed Rochester the No. 1 coldest job market, describing it simply as the corporate home to Eastman Kodak Co. Rochester was the smallest region included in the ranking.
The city’s 4.5 percent unemployment rate in 2018, paired with a 2.2 percent wage growth rate, a 1 percent job growth rate, a 0.1 percent rate in labor force growth and a labor force participation rate of 60.4 percent, placed it at the bottom of the list for having the “least dynamic labor market,” according to the story.
Austin, which came in at the top of the WSJ list, had a 2018 unemployment rate of 3 percent, a 4 percent wage growth rate, a 3.5 percent job growth rate, a 3 percent jump in labor force and a 70.6 percent rate of labor force participation. The Texas city is home to Dell Inc., Amazon-owned Whole Foods, the University of Texas and Apple Inc.’s new $1 billion campus.
Robert Duffy, former lieutenant governor and president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said he wishes the author of the ranking would have spent a day in Rochester before publishing the study.
“I am a big fan of the Wall Street Journal. I read it every day,” Duffy said. “But I see a very different picture here in Rochester.”
Though he said Rochester’s wage growth rate is an issue, the city’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years. Duffy also credited Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s multi-million dollar Upstate Revitalization Initiative, among other efforts, for encouraging small and medium-sized businesses and business owners to establish themselves in the Rochester area.