Recently released data showed that New York state led the nation in population loss over the past year. From July of 2020 to July of 2021, the state’s population decreased by over three hundred thousand.
New Yorkers moving to other states and a high number of COVID-19 related deaths have contributed to the steep population loss. The effects of the loss in population are seen in a drop in enrollment at SUNY schools and an ongoing worker shortage.
Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed the state’s population loss in her State of the State address. The governor announced various initiatives to make the state more appealing to workers and business owners, beginning with a workforce development program.
This seven-part initiative is focused on regional needs and will expand New Yorkers’ access to careers and career services. The plan includes the creation of the Office of Workforce and Economic Development, which will oversee workforce development throughout the state. Additionally, the plan will offer more opportunities for New Yorkers to get the education and training they need in order to join the workforce.
The governor also announced a $10 billion investment in the state’s healthcare industry. The number of nurses in New York hospitals has dipped below pre pandemic numbers, at a time when a surge in COVID-19 cases has led to an increased demand for healthcare workers.
Gov. Hochul’s plan utilizes monetary incentives to attract healthcare workers to New York. The initiatives include a $3,000 retention bonus to ensure healthcare workers are making above minimum wage.
The plan will also allow workers from out-of-state to use their licenses in New York more easily, as well as expand the amount of students training in New York schools to become healthcare workers and offer them free tuition if they stay in the state following graduation.