The Index of Economic Activity
in Tompkins County

  Department of Economics
  at Ithaca College



Front Page Historical Data Outlook Archives Methodology


July 2013

The Ithaca College Index of Economic Activity in Tompkins County rebounded to a level of 165.57 in July from a revised mark of 163.00 in June. This amounts to an improvement of 1.58 percent. Gains in employment, retail sales, building permits, and home sales buoyed the index. Air traffic and help wanted advertising dipped moderately. Compared to July 2012, economic activity was up 2.53 percent.




Tompkins County added 1,100 jobs in July after seasonal adjustment. In addition, the jobs figure for June was revised dramatically upward. The initial report showed a loss of 1,400 jobs and now the revision indicates a net gain of 300 jobs. There is a lesson here: the employment figures will be revised, often significantly. The estimate of 1,100 added in July will be revised at least 3 times as more information comes in.

County retailers rang up $142.2 million in seasonally adjusted sales in July. That amount is 1.86 percent better than June and 4.31 percent better than July 2012. This is good news as the retail sector of the County economy has been stagnant for some time.

The number of passengers boarding and deplaning at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport descended 1.97 percent in July. Compared to July 2012, air traffic was down 14.79 percent.

Residential building permits issued in Tompkins County popped 59.92 percent in July. Building permits are an extremely volatile indicator and a change of this amount is not unusual. However, building permits are showing signs of continued strength in 2013.

Home sales appreciated 3.86 percent in July and 3.20 percent compared to a year ago at this time. The average sale price was $217,800 compared to $219,500 a year earlier. The median home sold for $189,500 compared to $189,000 a year earlier.

Help wanted advertising fell 4.59 percent in July. Compared to July 2012, help wanted advertising was up 4.43 percent.




(from JUN 2013)


(from JUL 2012)


         1.59 %

         2.37 %

Retail Sales

         1.86 %

         4.31 %

Air Passengers

         1.97 %

       14.79 %

Building Permits

       59.92 %

       60.00 %

Home Sales

         3.86 %

         3.20 %

Help Wanted Advertising

         4.59 %

         4.43 %

Index of Economic Activity

         1.58 %

         2.53 %


Through July, economic activity in Tompkins County is running 1.5 percent ahead of last year’s pace. Most of this growth can be attributed to more jobs in education and health services, our bread and butter industries.

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

Maintained by Elia Kacapyr (
Last updated 08/26/2013