Long Island has reinvented itself from a region formerly thought of as a bedroom community to New York City and with a workforce dependent on either traveling on a westbound morning Long Island Rail Road (“LIRR”) train or driving on the Long Island Expressway to their jobs in the defense and aerospace manufacturing industries. Today, the landscape is far different.
Now in our 90th year, the Long Island Association (“LIA”) remains the voice of Long Island and its business community and has led the effort to transform our region over the last couple of decades to create today’s 21st century, “innovation economy.” This new paradigm was made possible because of the many unique assets that comprise Nassau and Suffolk Counties, most notably our world-class research institutions and universities, and a highly-educated and highly-skilled workforce.
In order to keep our region and our economy growing, we need to build on the success of our existing businesses while also cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in advanced manufacturing, technology, life sciences, health care, homeland security and clean energy. Long Island will also need to confront our challenges which include an aging population, a dearth of rental and other affordable housing opportunities and protecting the recreational, environmental, educational and public safety amenities that encourage people to live here.
As we consider these goals and our strategies to attain them, the LIA wants to provide our members and the business community with timely, practical information and statistics about various business conditions. One of the many benefits of LIA membership includes complimentary copies and access to the LIA Business Fact Book, which is a biennial report prepared by our Chief Economist, Dr. John A. Rizzo. It provides a comprehensive analysis of national, regional and local economic data, as well as a thorough and objective outlook on our current economic conditions, to help equip the region’s employers with additional tools to operate their businesses successfully.
As the LIA Business Fact Book indicates, Long Island has a lot of positive momentum. Among its many other findings, the region has had a consistently strong labor market with an unemployment rate below 4 percent. And New York State is making record investments in our infrastructure as most recently demonstrated in Governor Cuomo’s historic commitment to building a new third track along the existing two tracks of the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville on the LIRR. This will spur transit-oriented growth, encourage reverse-commuting and help keep Long Island economically competitive and attractive to young professionals and families that are essential to a thriving region.
As the leading business organization in the region, we will continue our advocacy and commitment to fostering a knowledge-based suburban economy that creates and sustains high-paying jobs and offers a superior quality of life and cultural opportunities for its residents. Long Island is a special place where people want to live, raise their families and do business. Let’s work together to keep it that way.
Thank you to Farmingdale State College and Northville Industries whose sponsorship and financial support have made possible the publication of the LIA Business Fact Book.