Regional Economic Tracking Survey Released

Regional Economic Tracking Survey Released

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Almost everyone in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties agree on the top three economic development priorities  for the north country.

Ninety-six, 98, and 97 percent of residents in those counties think the top three priorities are retaining existing businesses, attracting new business, and training and workforce skills.

That's according to the third bienniel regional economic tracking survey released Monday by Jefferson Community College's Center for Community Studies.

The study is sponsored by the Development Authority of the North Country. Here's the raw data.

The information is designed to help local officials plan local economic development efforts, including those of the industrial development agencies of the three counties.

In other results:

- People are fairly pleased with their local air passenger service. That's particularly true in St. Lawrence County, where 64 percent reported satisfaction, compared with 46 percent two years ago. And 9 percent fewer Jefferson County residents are flying from outside the county.

- Sixteen percent of those surveyed in Lewis County say they own a business – more than either of the other two counties – and 82 percent of them own a home-based business.

- There is strong support across the three counties for exploring ways to consolidate local governments if it saves taxpayers' money.

- Seven percent more people report they are employed full-time than two years ago, yet many unemployed are not trying to find a job (63 percent in Jefferson County, 57 percent in St. Lawrence County).

- The top challenges facing business owners in the region are taxes, labor costs, and government regulation, with 42 percent in St. Lawrence County also reporting broadband access as a continuing challenge.

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