Like many blue-collar cities, Buffalo is working to transform itself into a 21st century city – and in the process, is creating opportunities for workers in the new economy.
Despite long-term population decline stretching back several decades, the Buffalo job market has a lot working in its favor. With a population of more than 1.1 million metro residents, Buffalo is the second largest city in New York and is following the lead of other rust-belt cities in creating a diversified economy capable of competing on the world stage.
Buffalo’s economic roots are primarily industrial. At one point, the city’s major employers included railroad commerce, steel manufacturing, automobile production, aircraft design and production, and shipping – all of which have suffered declines in revenues and employment over the past 30 years.
These days, diversification is the driving force in Buffalo’s economic future. Rather than relying on one sector to create jobs and drive the region’s economy, Buffalo has adopted a multi-sector strategy, creating opportunities for long-term growth and expansion.
Although the New York state economy in general faces significant challenges, Buffalo has the potential to be an epicenter for a renaissance in employment and economic success.
As Buffalo transitions from its manufacturing and industrial past, several new industries are emerging as leaders in employment and economic growth. Financial services, life science research and services, agribusiness, logistics, high technology and light manufacturing are just some of the sectors that dominate Buffalo’s current economy.
It’s important to note that in recent years, the educational and health services sectors have added the most jobs to the Buffalo economy, followed closely by the professional services and finance sectors.
Not surprisingly, Buffalo’s largest employers are a reflection of the city’s modern economic make-up. Manufacturing jobs still exist in the region, but they have been overshadowed by the prevalence of positions in other sectors.
According to Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Buffalo’s top private sector employers include Kaleida Health, Catholic Health System, Employer Services Corp., Tops Markets and HSBC Bank – all of which employ more than 5,000 workers.
Buffalo is also home to several of the largest privately held companies in the U.S. including Rich Products and Delaware North, as well as large public sector employers like the University of Buffalo.