(WNY) Officially released data for the Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY, metro area suggest continuation of a decades-long trend of decline in manufacturing employment. This negative trend is possibly weakening, though, as an estimate for the overall number of people employed in manufacturing during 2013 on an annual basis is higher than a simple trend estimate would indicate. There are possibly about 2,400 more people employed by manufacturers here locally than trend levels predict (see variance to trend in chart).
Any improvement locally of employment by the goods-producing sector is positive news. These kinds of jobs tend to provide wages and salaries that better afford a good quality of life. Workers need more of these kinds of job in order to support themselves and their families.
Let’s all hope this small improvement is the start of a new trend, ending decades when businesses moved good-paying jobs overseas. Hoping for a positive change is different from having blind faith that things are turning around for the better, though. A balanced assessment of our economic condition is necessary.