In Western New York we've seen recent layoffs not just from Ingersoll Rand, but company's like Bak USA, New Era and Tesla to name a few.
Even though these layoffs are coming one after another, Empire State Development said the overall story in WNY is one of growth and job creation.
"While some individual companies in the Western New York region have cut jobs due to unique issues specific to their operations and the global economy, overall private sector jobs rose this past year by 6,100, or 1.1 percent. Empire State Development remains focused on building the region’s reputation at it continues to make remarkable strides in the right direction after decades of decline," ESD CEO Howard Zemsky said.
However, SUNY Buffalo State Economics and Finance Chair Fred Floss said there are indicators in general that we're heading toward a recession. And he believes companies may be cutting costs at the same time because they're all looking at those same indicators. He said regardless of government policies, we're likely overdue for the economy to pull back but that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention to them.
"If there's a tariff war," Floss said. "If the tax cuts look to be buying back stock and having companies not invest in plant and equipment, then the recession is going to be much larger and last longer than it would have had otherwise."
He also pointed out that when companies preemptively make cuts, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that could bring a recession around even quicker. He expects it within the next 18 months. While Buffalo has had the high-profile cuts recently, he said this is happening all across Upstate and Western New York may actually be better equipped to deal with it than other regions like Central NY and the Southern Tier.
At the same time we're seeing new numbers from the Department of Labor showing unemployment is down across the board, including in Buffalo. Floss called it a lagging indicator. Typically, unemployment reaches a low right before a recession, and when it hits that low, companies have to start raising wages and begin cutting back elsewhere.
Floss also said the state should not abandon economic development initiatives in its various regions. The nano-tech industry in Albany, for instance, took several decades to get to the point where it is and as a result Floss said the Capital Region looks like it will be less susceptible to the next recession. However, if the state had pulled back 10 years ago he said the region might be more vulnerable today.