The Index of Economic Activity
in Tompkins County

  Department of Economics
  at Ithaca College



Front Page Historical Data Outlook Archives Methodology


October 2013

The Ithaca College Index of Economic Activity in Tompkins County improved to a level of 164.95 in October from a revised mark of 163.69 in September. This amounts to an improvement of 0.77 percent. Modest gains in retail sales, building permits, home sales, and help wanted advertising buoyed the index. Air traffic was down moderately while employment held steady. Compared to October 2012, economic activity was up 1.15 percent




Tompkins County gave up 100 jobs in October after seasonal adjustment bringing total employment to 68,000. The employment picture has been stronger than expected in 2013 with the County tacking on 900 jobs through October.  Most of those jobs have been created in education and health services.

County retailers rang up $143.0 million in seasonally adjusted sales in October. That amount is 2.61 percent better than September and 2.87 percent better than October 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 5.54 percent in October. Compared to October 2012, air traffic was down 15.77 percent.

Residential building permits issued in Tompkins County popped 52.06 percent in October. 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 4,57 percent in October and 12.50 percent compared to a year ago at this time. The average sale price was $189,200 compared to $187,900 a year earlier. The median home sold for $171,500 compared to $159,500 a year earlier.

Help wanted advertising advanced 2.29 percent in October. Compared to October 2012, help wanted advertising was up 3.25 percent.




(from SEP 2013)


(from OCT 2012)


         0.07 %

         0.86 %

Retail Sales

         2.61 %

         2.87 %

Air Passengers

         5.54 %

       15.77 %

Building Permits

       52.06 %

         0.02 %

Home Sales

         4.57 %

       12.50 %

Help Wanted Advertising

         2.29 %

         3.25 %

Index of Economic Activity

         0.77 %

         1.15 %


Through October, 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 11/25/2013