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Study finds Hudson Valley's recession recovery has been 'uneven at best,' income, population down

Oct 16, 2019 12:30 pm
Amanda Purcell and Sarah Trafton are reporting for Columbia-Greene Media on the report released this week by Pattern for Progress, a study of how the Hudson Valley is managing more than 10 years after the recession of 2007. The year-long study, "Out of Alignment," was funded by the utility company, Central Hudson Gas and Electric. The results were not encouraging. “The recovery from the Great Recession has proven to be uneven at best,” Jonathan Drapkin, CEO and president of the Newburgh-based nonprofit Pattern for Progress, said in a statement. The study found that residents are earning less, and despite lower-than-average unemployment statistics, the poverty rate is steadily climbing. Population is stagnant in the Hudson Valley, with all counties showing a decline in the number of births from 2007 to 2017. “The numbers are just staggering,” Drapkin said. “We’re not having kids.” And while public school enrollment is rapidly declining, education costs are increasing. Between the 2000-2001 and 2028-2029 school years, Columbia County is projected to lose 39 percent or more of its student population; Greene County is projected to lose 36 percent. Pattern for Progress researchers looked at a variety of factors including median income, public school enrollment, aging population, public school taxes and health care. The research included data from the mid- and upper-Hudson Valley, including Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Greene and Columbia counties. Part two of the study will look at solutions and ways to improve the region's economic environment. It is slated to for release at an unspecified later date. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.