Economic data signal that manufacturers in the Capital Region will end 2012 riding a much stronger resurgence than their counterparts across New York.
The latest dose of data hit Monday, and it wasn't good. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that manufacturing contracted again in December, based on its index gauging current activity across the state.
The index was almost 30 points higher as spring began. It has now posted five straight months of negative readings.
"The level of optimism remained at a level well below that seen earlier this year," Fed economists said.
Manufacturers accounts for $1.7 billion of salaries in the Capital Region. It's almost 11 percent of all local pay, despite supplying less than 7 percent of all local jobs, according to state data and the Manufacturing Research Institute of New York State.
By many accounts, local manufacturers remain on a broad upswing. And that's aside from the minimum 1,000 jobs pledged by the secretive manufacturer (maybe Apple?) that is weighing the Capital Region in a global site search dubbed "Project Azalea."
The core Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro market, covering five counties, had 23,500 manufacturing jobs as of October. That tally is:
? the highest in a decade
? 400 net jobs more than in 2007, when the national recession set in
? a net gain of 2,000 jobs over the past 12 months, a growth rate of 9 percent?or 13 times faster than the entire market's expansion over that same time
Capital Region manufacturers have more than recovered the number of jobs cut during the recession, growth companies from small and large companies alike. Such a feat is far from being realized on a statewide basis.
Sichko covers state government, manufacturing, law and sports business.