Capital Region’s Gig Economy Grows, Ranks 2nd in NY for Nonemployer Growth
Prior to the pandemic, the Capital Region’s gig economy was expanding. In fact, Greene, Schenectady and Columbia counties were among New York’s fastest-growing counties for nonemployer establishments, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data.
In 2019, the eight-county Capital Region had 75,148 nonemployer establishments, which are businesses with at least $1,000 in receipts, with no paid employees or payroll, and are subject to federal income tax. These businesses include independent contractors and freelancers, among others. Those nonemployer establishment had a total $3.46 billion in receipts, up 3.2 percent from the prior year.
Over the year, the Capital Region’s ranks of nonemployer establishments increased by 2.4 percent. That was the second-fastest growth rate among the state’s 10 economic development regions, trailing only Long Island at 3 percent. At 5 percent, Greene County had the state’s fastest-growing nonemployer establishment growth rate. Schenectady County ranked third at 4.5 percent and Columbia County came in 10th at had the 10th at 3.3 percent. In the Capital Region, Saratoga County added the greatest number of nonemployer establishments (439), followed by Albany County (425) and Schenectady County (400).
The professional, scientific, and technical services sector has the most nonemployer establishments in the Capital Region: 12,434 establishments, or 16.5 percent. The second largest nonemployer sector is real estate and rental and leasing, with 9,314 establishments or 12.4 percent.
The sectors that saw the most nonemployer establishment growth over the year were transportation and warehousing (18.9 percent), educational services (13.6 percent) and information (11.6 percent).
CEG provides a menu of startup support services, including pitch coaching through its VentureB series, hands-on educational workshops for entrepreneurs through the VentureB Entrepreneurship Workshop Series, Grant & Loan Assistance, help identifying potential mentors and investors, and assistance gaining access to research labs and other facilities. CEG is also an affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber, which provides support services for entrepreneurs include, loan programs, entrepreneur boot camps and an MWBE program.
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