Sales tax revenue continues to soar for Capital Region counties

Sales tax revenue continues to soar for Capital Region counties

ALBANY — Sales tax revenue continues to surge, with May 2022 collections nearly 21% higher than May 2021 in the Capital Region.It’s the largest monthly increase yet this year, but the year-to-date increase for the first five months has been 16.0%, according to the office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.A significant portion of this increase is due to inflation, which is running at a four-decade high, raising the cost of goods on which sales taxes are levied. Fuel prices have been growing particularly rapidly, repeatedly setting new all-time highs.The trend boosts the coffers of state and local governments that impose…
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COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

COVID infection rates dropping steadily in Capital Region

ALBANY — The rate of confirmed new COVID infections has been diminishing for more than a week in the Capital Region, state data show.The rolling average of new infections had steadily increased from mid-March to mid-May then leveled off at 57 new infections per day per 100,000 residents on May 16. It decreased every day to hit 38.5 on May 26.A similar decline has been seen in many of New York's 10 regions and in the state as a whole.Gov. Kathy Hochul noted the decrease in the statewide average in an update Friday, and also suggested that people take precautions…
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Teen vaccination rate reaches 80% in NY as COVID slowly subsides

Teen vaccination rate reaches 80% in NY as COVID slowly subsides

ALBANY — New York officials said Wednesday that 80% of the population age 12-17 is now partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19.Reaching the milestone is not just a point of pride but an important part of continuing efforts to push back COVID after the omicron variant surge of December and January, Gov. Kathy Hochul said."The progress we've made is a strong indication that we have the tools — vaccines, boosters, tests and masks — to keep our communities safe, and our schools, businesses and economy open,” she said in a news release.Children ages 12 to 17 became eligible to receive…
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2.6% Capital Region unemployment rate lowest in a third of a century

2.6% Capital Region unemployment rate lowest in a third of a century

ALBANY — Capital Region unemployment dropped to 2.6% in December, the lowest rate ever seen in the 32 years the current recording system has been in use.The state Department of Labor reported the estimates Tuesday. The jobless rate is preliminary, but surpasses the previous record low — 3.0% in May 2001 — by so much that it should be beyond any margin of error.The number likely is a byproduct of what has been dubbed The Great Resignation, in which many Americans have dropped out of the labor force, whether by choice or force of circumstance.The labor force is defined as people working for pay…
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COVID surge appears to be easing across Capital Region, state as fewer test positive

COVID surge appears to be easing across Capital Region, state as fewer test positive

ALBANY — The early-winter surge of COVID in New York shows continued signs of flattening or even declining, with the number of new infections each day of the past week significantly lower than in late December or early January.The progress is relative — the number of lab-confirmed positive tests each day is still far higher than the highest one-day total in the first 21 months of the pandemic.But the number of people hospitalized with COVID also has begun to decline, both for the state as a whole and individually in some of its regions. Some statistical snapshots from New York's battle…
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COVID hospitalization rises in New York, but not as sharply as case count

COVID hospitalization rises in New York, but not as sharply as case count

ALBANY — New York surpassed 12,000 people hospitalized with COVID, and with 55,000 new infections confirmed on what is typically the slowest day of the week for lab results, the hospital census is likely to go higher.But state Department of Health data released Monday also contain some bright spots: A much smaller percentage of COVID-infected people are winding up in the hospital so far this winter than in last winter's surge. The number of hospitalizations on Sunday was 42% higher than Jan 9, 2021, but the number of new positive tests in the first nine days of this year was 371% higher.Also,…
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