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The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency describes the employment environment of Chautauqua as follows:
From its talented and skilled workforce to its brilliant natural resources, Chautauqua County, New York, is a wonderful place to live and do business. With recent worker's compensation reforms, elimination of some taxes, streamlining of the business permit process, and deregulation of energy providers, Chautauqua County has become economically competitive. Located within a day's travel of 50% of the U.S. population and 60% of its buying power, Chautauqua County is welcoming the new century via performance-based government and a readiness to do business.
Today, the manufacturing sector provides the base for the county's economy with important and growing contributions from the retail, service, and tourism sectors. Farming continues to contribute to the county's economy, as well as the associated food processing industry. With 1557 commercial farms (1997), 15,500 acres of grapes, and eight wineries, Chautauqua County has more farms and produces more grapes than any other county in New York State.
A) Industry Employment
Data from the 2000 Census document a shift over the last decade in industries that employ Chautauqua County workers. As the following table shows, there has been a decline in the total percentage of the labor force working in eight of the thirteen industries listed. The largest declines are in manufacturing and retail trade. Growth has occurred in education, health and social services, travel tourism and arts, construction, transportation, and public administration. The largest gains are found in travel tourism and arts (to 8.6% from 0.9%), and education, health and social services (to 24.3% from 22.8%).
B) Median Earnings
Chautauqua County ranks 56th among the 62 counties in New York with median earnings of $18,576 for those 16 and over with earnings. Broken down by sex, the median earnings of males is $25,721, which ranks 40th in the state, while the median for females is $13,414, which ranks 56th. (MEDIAN INCOME NEW YORK COUNTIES). Within Chautauqua County, median earnings vary considerably by geographic area. (MEDIAN INCOME CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY LOCATIONS). Areas with the highest and lowest median earnings are listed below.
Additional details on family and household income are examined in the section on income.
C) Unemployment and Employment Growth
Since 2000, the unemployment rate in Chautauqua County has increased annually, from 4.6% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2003. Through July 2004, the rate is 6.8. The 2003 unemployment rate was 6.4% in Chautauqua, which is comparable to 6.4% for Western New York, but higher than the 5.0% rate for all of New York State excluding New York City. More detailed labor force, employment, and unemployment statistics for Chautauqua County from 1974 to August 2004 are also available (CHAUTAUQUA UNEMPLOYMENT RATES AND LABOR FORCE).
The rate of employment growth during the same periods is: 2000, -0.7%; 2001, -2.0%; 2002, 0.5%; 2003, -1-1%; Q2 2004,-1.2%) (EMPLOYMENT GROWTH FOR NY COUNTIES).
As the table below indicates, over the period form 2000 to 2002 Chautauqua County's three- year average.
Rate of unemployment (5.4%) is the lowest of the Southern Ties counties. It is also slightly below the regional average (5.5%), although it is above the state average (5.2%). Ot the eight counties in the region, only one has a lower three-year rate than Chautauqua.
D) Employment Status of Parents
In Chautauqua County there are 15,979 women with children under 18 years of age. Of these mothers, 11,528, or 72.14% are employed. Chautauqua County ranks 29th in New York with respect to the percentage of mothers with children under 18 who are employed (PERCENT MOTHERS EMPLOYED NEW YORK COUNTIES). Within Chautauqua County, the following tables list the areas with the highest and lowest percentage of women with children under 18 who are employed. The percentages for all areas in the county are also available (PERCENT MOTHERS EMPLOYED CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY).
The employment status of parents, particularly single parents, has implications for the well-being of children and raises issues concerning the role of health providers in preschool and after school programs. As the table below based on the 2000 census shows, of the 9349 children under six in Chautauqua County 68% live with two parents, and of this 68%, 61% have both parents in the work force. Twenty-seven percent of children under six live in single parent families. For 79% of children living with their fathers alone, the father is in the work force, and for 81% of those living with the mother alone, the mother is in the work force.
In summary, employment in most industries in Chautauqua County has shifted over the past decade, with declines particularly evident in manufacturing and retail trade. Only six counties in the state have lower median earnings than Chautauqua, and median earnings of females is 48% lower than the earnings of males. The unemployment rate for Chautauqua and for all of Western New York was 6.4% in 2003, which lags behind the 5.0% rate for New York State Counties excluding New York City, and employment growth at mid 2004 was -1-1%. For six out of ten two-parent families with children under six, both parents are in the labor force, and the rates are higher for single parent families with children in this age group.
Additional detailed data that may be useful for grant writing and service planning purposes are appended for each area in Chautauqua County. Employment Status is broken down by sex and age groups in the following link(CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY EMPLOYMENT STATUS BY SEX). Data organized by the employment status of married couples, females with children, children with employed parents, and full-time employment is available at the following link (EMPLOYMENT STATUS BY SEX FOR NEW YORK COUNTIES), and weeks and hours worked and earnings of full time, year round workers are listed in the last of these Chautauqua County sites (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY WORK STATUS IN 1999 AND EARNINGS). The equivalent sites for New York counties are also listed (EMPLOYMENT STATUS BY SEX FOR NEW YORK COUNTIES) (EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND WORK FOR NEW YORK COUNTIES) (WORK STATUS IN 1999 AND EARNINGS IN NEW YORK COUNTIES).