April 5 2017

Capital Region Has the Nation’s 5th Fastest-Growing MFG Sector Among 100 Largest MFG Metros

CEG BGS Helped Create and Retain 163 Jobs in 2016

Continuing to benefit from public and private investments in technology assets, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in 2016 had the fifth fastest-growing manufacturing sector among the nation’s largest 100 manufacturing metros, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA averaged 26,300 manufacturing jobs in 2016, up 3.5 percent from the previous year. That 900-job increase also marked the fifth highest growth rate the area has experienced in the last 25 years. The sector has been growing robustly since 2011, when GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Malta chip plant went into production.

Among the top 100 MSAs and New England city and town areas (NECTAs), the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA has one of the smallest manufacturing sectors. Although it outranked tech hubs such as the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell MSAs in terms of growth rate, these metros are far larger and consequently added four to five times more jobs to their manufacturing sectors. 

Capital Region

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA includes four of the Capital Region’s eight counties (Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady), plus Schoharie County. Manufacturing employment elsewhere in the region was steady. It declined by 100 to 5,900 in the Glens Falls MSA and being unchanged in Greene and Columbia counties at 1,500 and 900, respectively.

NY’s Manufacturing Sector

Out of the 338 MSAs for which data was available, 166 of them saw their manufacturing sectors grow in 2016 and 46 experience no change. Out of New York’s 15 MSAs and metropolitan divisions, only five experienced manufacturing job growth, with the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA adding more such jobs than the other four combined. Reflective of these challenges, the average gross domestic product (GDP) for New York’s manufacturing sector for the first three quarters of 2016 was down 3.2 percent, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

CEG’s Role in Growing Manufacturers

CEG, acting as a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, supports efforts to grow the region’s manufacturing sector. The organization’s Business Growth Solutions  (BGS) unit supports small and medium-sized manufacturing and technology by assisting them with, among other things, business strategy, continuous improvement, technology acceleration and supply chain development. In 2016, BGS helped Capital Region manufacturers create 20 jobs and retain 143.

“Manufacturing is getting more advanced with every passing year, and thanks to public and private investments in our R&D infrastructure and academic institutions, the Capital Region is positioned to stay ahead of the curve in this sector. CEG is working with our partners throughout the region to ensure we have a workforce that can turn innovation into manufactured technological goods,” said CEG President and CEO Andrew S. Kennedy.

To ensure the Capital Region’s workforce is prepared for the demands of advanced manufacturers, CEG is serving as the program manager of “The Pathways Project: An Advanced Manufacturing Careers Study.” Through this initiative CEG will examine the Capital Region’s transferable skills amongst a spectrum of manufacturing careers, pinpointing where there is overlap between positions in the industry. Funded by the Columbia, Greene, Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Warren and Washington WIBs, The Pathways Project aims to create and define a pathway by which incumbents and new entrants to the region’s manufacturing sector can identify what positions match their skillsets what skills they need and where they can get them to advance their career in the industry. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2017.

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