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If you’re struggling to keep your head above water in New York, you’re not alone. Forty-one of 50 upstate counties lost population between 2010 and 2015, and those people did not move into Trump Tower for tax relief. They left the state and took their money with them.
Almost $22 billion in wealth left the state from 2009-2014, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The cost of living, driven by high taxes, has put a financial strain on consumers who power New York’s massive economy.
The state GDP is 2015 was $1.27 trillion, the third-highest in the U.S. But much of it comes from the New York City area, which is the world’s financial hub.
Financial services and health care are the state’s two largest industries. While Wall Street has weathered the Great Recession fairly well, the state’s GDP increased only 1.4% in 2015, which was far below the national average of 2.4%.
The unemployment rate of 4.7% mirrors the national average. One of New York’s problems is that so many employable people have headed south.
The state has lost 7.3 million people since 1960, and it’s not just due to the winter weather in Buffalo. Residents cite high taxes and a bad economy. An AARP survey showed 56% of New Yorkers worry about being able to pay their property taxes in retirement, and 51% say high utilities costs also factor into their decision whether to move out of state.
New York ranks behind only Hawaii, Alaska and California as the most expensive state to live in. Its per capita income is $33,095, but 14.2% of New Yorkers live below the national poverty line.
It’s safe to assume $33,095 a year wouldn’t last more than a couple of months in New York City. In fact, someone making $48,000 a year in Buffalo would need to make $114,000 a year in Manhattan to pay the bills.
The state legislature passed a bill in 2016 that raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018. It remains to be seen whether that will boost the economy, as proponents claim, or lead to layoffs, as critics contend.