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Report: NYS seeing slow economic recovery

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State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, above with the former governor, says New York is recovering from the recession - but that recovery has been slow going and uneven across the state.

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State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says New York is recovering from the great recession - only it's recovering rather slowly.

That's the takeaway from a report DiNapoli released on Thursday, which looks at how New York's economy fared during 2010.

DiNapoli says the findings are definitely a "mixed bag." But overall, he says, "there's good reason to have cautious optimism."

Tit-for-tat findings

For most of the data, good news in one part of the economy came with bad news in another.

On the job front, the state registered private sector job growth in 2010 - adding 95,100 positions. But those gains were partially offset by 28,200 public sector layoffs.

Unemployment is "down" to 8 percent, after reaching an 8.9 percent rate during the height of the recession. Personal income did see the second-highest increase in the nation (up 4.1 percent) - but it was mostly driven by higher Wall Street bonuses. 

However, the truly telling statistic is that the state has only recovered about a quarter of the 336,700 jobs it lost during the recession.

"We have to have a dose of reality," says DiNapoli. "We're starting to recover, but we're not seeing the kind of job growth that we need to see. It's a recovery that's still very tentative."

The same tit-for-tat could be said of the housing sector. DiNapoli's report shows home prices were up across upstate, but down in the New York City area.

Bright spots

It wasn't all bad news. After two straight years of decline, New York's Gross State Product grew by 2.2 percent.

Each of New York's 13 metropolitan areas saw an uptick in economic output. Ithaca led the charge with a 3.3 percent increase over last year, but the Mid-Hudson Valley (3.1 percent), Buffalo (2.9 percent), Rochester (2.4 percent) and Utica-Rome (2.4 percent) also did well.

DiNapoli says New York isn't out of the woods yet and that the recovery is slower than he'd like it to be.

But, he says, the state can build on some of 2010's economic success by doing more to shore up the small business sector.

Want more facts and figures? Here's a handy video produced by the comptroller's office.