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Some Capital Region counties growing faster than state average

Some Capital Region counties growing faster than state average

New county-level GDP analysis tested by feds, shows region faring well

CAPITAL REGION — New federal data indicate the Capital Region economy growing faster than the state average, but also show it is heavily reliant on the government and service sectors.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday rolled out prototype statistics for the real gross domestic product of every county in the nation — the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced within each county.

From 2012 to 2015, the real GDP increased 6.1 percent in the Capital Region. That compares with 3.5 percent state, 3.8 percent outside New York City and 3.4 percent in New York City. 

“This is the first time the Bureau of Economic Analysis is providing GDP statistics for each and every county in the United States,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a news release. “The prototype data addresses one of the last remaining gaps in economic knowledge, offering policymakers and businesses a new tool to inform their decision-making.”

That gap is the breakdown between government, goods-producing industries and service-producing industries as portions of the entire gross domestic product of a county, which in 2015 ranged from $4.6 million in Loving County, Texas, to $656 billion in Los Angeles County, California.

The data show that 2015 real GDP had increased in 1,931 counties and decreased in 1,159. The picture was better in counties with more than 500,000 residents: It increased in 125 of those large counties and decreased in just 13.

In New York state, meanwhile, the smallest GDP belonged to the least populous of the 62 counties: Hamilton County, at just $128.4 million in 2015.

The largest GDP in New York state was $629.7 billion for New York County — aka, Manhattan.

The five counties that make up New York City had a combined GDP of $807 billion, far exceeding the largest single county, Los Angeles.

The following list shows the real GDP in 2015, its change from 2012 and its rank among the state’s 62 counties:

  • Albany $26.25B 5.9% 11th
  • Fulton $1.31B -1.5% 53rd
  • Montgomery $1.50B 5.6% 47th
  • Rensselaer $5.46B 7.7% 26th
  • Saratoga    $9.08B 7.7% 16th
  • Schenectady $7.29B 3.6% 20th
  • Schoharie $649M -2.8% 59th

Looking at the GDP by industry sector, the BEA not surprisingly found a massive government presence in Albany County, which has the Capital Region’s largest GDP.

From left to right, the following list shows each county’s 2015 real GDP and the portion created by private goods-producing industries; private service-producing industries; and government services:

  • Albany $26B $2.4B $17.6B $6.2B
  • Fulton $1.3B NA NA $262M
  • Montgomery $1.5B $381M $912M $211M
  • Rensselaer $5.6B $784M $3.6B $963M
  • Saratoga $9.1B $1.6B $6.3B $1.2B
  • Schenectady $7.3B $1.4B $5B $847M
  • Schoharie $648M $93M $376M $180M
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