Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Upstate New York and the Rust Belt have become synonymous with economic decline.  Given that Rochester finds itself in both regions, there is very little hope of avoiding the perception of decay.  Even within our own community, the following four facts seem to be mandatory knowledge:

  1. Kodak, headquartered here, once employed around 60,000 locally.  After exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it now employs under 3,000. 
  2. Xerox, headquartered here until the 1960's, once employed around 14,000 locally.  It now employs about 6,300.
  3. Bausch & Lomb, headquartered here until 2013, once employed 4,300 locally.  It now employs under 1,000.
  4. The city of Rochester had a population of 332,000 in 1950.  The population now hovers around 210,000. 
For whatever reason, the following five facts are optional knowledge, apparently okay to overlook:

  1. When Kodak employed 60,000 locally, the area workforce was around 414,000.  Today, it has GROWN to over 500,000.
  2. When Kodak employed 60,000 locally, the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area had 971,230 people.  Today, that number is approaching 1.1 million.  So while Kodak shrank by 95%, the population GREW by perhaps 10%.
  3. The suburb of Webster, home to much of Xerox's local presence, GREW by 12.4% between 2000 and 2010.
  4. The suburb of Victor GREW by 43% between 2000 and 2010.
  5. Downtown Rochester (yes, downtown Rochester) GREW from 3200 residents in 2000 to 6100 residents in 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing these statistics that help to reveal a much different picture than that portrayed by the popular media!