Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Labor Statistics for the Central New York Region Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego Counties

Private sector jobs in the Syracuse metro area fell over the year by 30,600, or 11.6 percent, to 234,000 in December 2020. Job losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (-7,600), educational and health services (-6,300), leisure and hospitality (-6,000), professional and business services (-5,200), manufacturing (-2,300), other services (-1,300), natural resources, mining and construction (-1,100), financial activities (-700) and information (-100). The government job count fell over the year (-4,000), with the largest job losses occurring in local government education.

Special Interest to the Central New York Region:

Central New York's Highest-Paying Industries

by Karen Knapik-Scalzo, Associate Economist, Central New York
(Excerpted from the June 2017 issue of the Employment in New York State newsletter)

What are the highest-paying industries in the Central New York region? This is a key question. Pay is one of many factors that people consider when they are looking for a job or pursuing education or training.

Central New York added 1,900 private sector jobs over the year ending April 2017. As the local economy continues to expand, job opportunities will be created at various pay levels.

This article examines some of the region's highest-paying private sector industries. The analysis is limited to 4-digit NAICS industries with at least 500 workers. It used data covering the fourth quarter of 2015 through the third quarter of 2016. The region's overall private sector annual wage was $46,200 during that period.


Boasting an average annual wage of $111,400, Power Generation and Supply is Central New York's highest-paying industry. It is also a significant employer, with 3,530 workers. A large number of local jobs are in these component industries: electric power distribution and nuclear electric power generation. National Grid and Exelon Generation are two of the largest local employers in this industry.

Common occupations in Power Generation and Supply include electric power line installers and repairers; customer service representatives; and control and valve installers and repairers. With several nuclear power plants located in Central New York, the region's concentration of nuclear power jobs is about 15 times greater than the national average.


The second highest-paying industry in the region is Utility System Construction. Its average annual wage is $98,600 and overall employment is 1,080.

Workers in the Utility System Construction industry are involved in the engineering and construction of oil/gas pipelines and power/communication lines. Common occupations in this industry include: construction laborers; operating engineers; and electric power line installers and repairers.


The Central New York region has three manufacturing industries that rank on the top-paying list. They include Electronic Instruments, Pharmaceuticals and Medicines, and Beverages.

The Electronic Instruments industry pays an average annual wage of $98,300. It encompasses a number of local high-tech and defense-related companies. Among them is Lockheed Martin, which designs and builds radars, sonars and sensors. Typical job titles include: team and electronic equipment assemblers; software developers; and electrical engineers.

Another high-paying industry is Pharmaceuticals and Medicines. It has an average annual wage of $90,000. One local business in this industry is antibiotic maker Steri-Pharma LLC. The company is in the midst of a $50 million expansion at its Syracuse plant. This growth is expected to create 72 jobs and allow the company to increase production of an antibiotic to fight drug-resistant bacteria. Common occupations include: packaging and filling machine operators; mixing and blending machine setters, operators and tenders; and inspectors and testers.

Beer production at traditional brewers (e.g., Anheuser-Busch) as well as the explosive growth of numerous local craft brewers (e.g., Middle Ages, Humble Harvest) has helped to boost local employment in Beverages. This industry pays an average annual wage of $87,200. Soft drink makers and wineries are also part of this industry. Key jobs run the gamut, from packaging and filling machine operators, to farmworkers and laborers, to industrial machinery mechanics. The Beverage manufacturing industry employs 1,000 people in the region


Many industries in Central New York offer high-paying job opportunities. The ones discussed here are clustered in utilities, construction and manufacturing. The average age of local workers in many of these industries is higher than the overall regional average. As older workers continue to age out of the workforce, there should be more job opportunities for hands-on workers with the necessary mechanical and technical skills.


For more information, please contact:
Karen Knapik-Scalzo
NYS Department of Labor
450 S. Salina St., Room 300
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 479-3391
Fax: (315) 479-3271
E-mail: [email protected]

Thanks for the feedback! It will help us improve your experience.