Monroe County

Rochester’s job problem

Rochester, New York – Teachers and administrators who care about the students; children and parents who take pride in the community; high-quality instruction and an array of extracurricular activities; and food quality are some of the most common factors to consider that contribute to the overall quality of education. And the state of New York, undeniably, offers quality education to children and young people.

However, education is just a small fraction of what people value and seek in a community. There are probably dozens of other things that affect how a person feels about where they live and where they want their children to grow, learn, work, and live.

Crime rates, public safety, traffic, the cost of living, and real estate prices are usually some of the most important elements for people when choosing the city where they want to live. When it comes to general factors, every city has pros and cons, but some cities offer far more opportunities in life than others. For many Monroe County residents, the Rochester metro area is not the best place when it comes to possibilities in life, and they blame the fact that there are just a few high-paying jobs in the area, noting the lack of big companies.

Earlier this week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in Rochester that the state will provide a $10 grant to support the Downtown Rochester revitalization project, which is expected to bring huge improvements to the area and provide more residential and commercial spaces. Local leaders are confident that the project might attract new big companies, which will later turn into new and attractive job openings.

Companies, however, don’t find the Monroe County area interesting for investment due to several reasons. One of them is the bad weather. Rochester has nice and warm weather for six months of the year, but during the winter months, temperatures are going down and there is a lot of snow every year in the area. High taxes seem to be another major problem for big companies. Rochester’s location near the U.S.–Canada border is yet another serious problem for companies.

These factors, when considered together, have a direct impact on the local job market and opportunities for residents. Rochester’s job problem is similar to that of other Upstate New York cities, including Buffalo and Syracuse. Understandably, there are a few companies in Rochester that offer significantly higher salaries than the average, but the number of job positions is very limited.

According to recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics data, hospitals and other health care providers provide most of the highest-paying jobs in the Rochester metro area. Nine out of the top 10 job positions and 18 out of the top 25 are found in the field. And all of them have annual median salaries of at least $208,000.

Even more concerning seems to be the fact that the vast majority of companies offering top-paying professions employ a relatively low number of people. Only one of the 25 largest firms on the list has more than 1,000 employees. Other than health care jobs, top-paying positions in the area are largely in management, including marketing managers, compensation and benefits managers, and chief executives. Physicists are an exception, ranking 25th.

According to ZipRecruiter data, the average annual pay in the United States is $68,213 a year as of late November this year. That’s approximately $32.79 an hour, which is the equivalent of $1,311/week or $5,684/month. The average annual salary in the Rochester area was $54,322 as of late November. That’s approximately $26,12 an hour, which is the equivalent of $1,044/week or $4,526/month.

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