Cuomo on why lowering unemployment in New York takes time

Briefing: Cuomo. (Cuomo via flickr)
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In a New York Times report on New York as "the only state with a statistically significant increase in its unemployment rate" over the past year, the Cuomo administration questioned whether the unemployment rate was truly an accurate measure of the state's economic progress, pointing instead to other metrics like job growth and the number of new unemployment insurance claims.

Cuomo didn't question the numbers when I asked him after his big policy conference in August whether he felt like his policies had begun to take effect, and whether New Yorkers could expect the unemployment rate to come down. Instead, he explained the contextual and cultural factors that the state has had to overcome.

"I think you're going to see the number come down over time," he told me. "There are a number of factors, primarily the overall national economy, right? We're one state." 

Cuomo said the state could be an "aggravating or a compounding factor" within that context.

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"I think over the past 18 months we've made dramatic progress," he said. "Because look, the problems that we're facing are cultural to New York. We did not get here overnight and the solution isn't going to be an overnight solution. This is decades in New York of just not being attuned to what we should have been attuned to, to be economically competitive. 

"It's decades of tax policy and regulatory policy. It's decades where the state government really didn't see its role as an economic generator. It's just not the way we thought in New York."--Reid Pillifant

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