April 12 2024
Regional/County Profiles

Some Capital Region Counties Saw Labor Forces Fully Recover from Pandemic in 2023

The Capital Region over the year regained 6,600 workers for its labor force in 2023, but it remained below its pre-pandemic strength. At the same time, two Capital Region counties fully recovered and expanded their labor forces from previous peak levels in 2019, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of New York State Department of Labor data.


In 2023, the eight-county Capital Region’s labor force averaged 554,900 workers. That was 1.2 percent above 2022,’s labor force but 0.6 percent below 2019’s record high of 558,300. Among New York’s 10 economic development regions, Long Island and the Hudson Valley last year surpassed their 2019 record levels, and the Capital Region was closest to breaking that threshold among the remaining non-fully recovered eight regions.



In the Capital Region, Saratoga and Schenectady counties in 2023 surpassed 2019’s record labor force levels by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. They ranked eighth and seventh in the state for labor force growth over the five-year period, respectively. Columbia and Washington counties were farthest from returning to their pre-COVID peak levels, with their labor forces down over the five-year period by 3.8 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.


CEG has a decades-long tradition of supporting the labor forces for the Capital Region’s tech industries. CEG is also serving  as a group sponsor for several high tech apprenticeship programs, including maintenance technicians at GlobalFoundries. CEG also promotes the region’s high-tech industries at conferences and other events worldwide, such as Semicon West.


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