The Index of Economic Activity
in Tompkins County

  Department of Economics
  at Ithaca College



Front Page Historical Data Outlook Archives Methodology


April 2013

The Ithaca College Index of Economic Activity in Tompkins County rebounded sharply from a poor showing in March to hit an all-time high in April. The index jumped 2.23 percent to a level of 167.07 from a revised mark of 163.42 in March. Employment, retail sales, air traffic, building permits, and home sales were up. Help wanted advertising held steady. No sector lost ground. Compared to April 2012, economic activity was 3.43 percent higher.




Tompkins County added 200 jobs in April, bringing total employment to 68,300 on a seasonally adjusted basis. There were 1,600 more jobs than in April 2012. The new jobs are in education and health services and in the leisure and hospitality industry. Government jobs in the County are declining.

Retail sales showed some signs of life in April, rising 2.70 percent over March. Retail sales in Tompkins County have been sluggish for a long time. Hopefully this is more than a momentary pop.

The number of passengers boarding and deplaning at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport ascended 2.39 percent in April. Compared to April 2012, air traffic was down 6.08 percent.

Residential building permits issued in Tompkins County improved 16.98 percent in April. Building permits are an extremely volatile indicator. They finished 2012 on a very strong note and are having a hard time matching that performance in 2013.

Home sales soared 64.59 percent in April when County realtors sold 107 homes on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to 65 in March. The average sale price was $196,300 compared to $195,500 a year earlier. The median home sold for $168,900 compared to $146,000 a year earlier. Compared to April 2012, home sales were up 34.48 percent.

Help wanted advertising inched down 0.14 percent in April. Compared to April 2012, help wanted advertising was up 3.33 percent.




(from MAR 2013)


(from APR 2012)


         0.31 %

         2.33 %

Retail Sales

         2.70 %

         5.80 %

Air Passengers

         2.39 %

         6.08 %

Building Permits

       16.98 %

       33.33 %

Home Sales

       64.59 %

       34.48 %

Help Wanted Advertising

         0.14 %

         3.33 %

Index of Economic Activity

         2.23 %

         3.43 %


Job growth in Tompkins County has been impressive in 2013. Retail sales and home sales joined the party in April and that gave the regional economy its best month in years.

  The Index of Economic Activity in Tompkins County is a public service of Ithaca College.

Maintained by Elia Kacapyr (
Last updated 05/17/2013