Tompkins County Traded Sectors

Gross Product, Employment and Compensation.

Method: The data in this report is primarily from IMPLAN’s 2014 data set, which was released in 2017.  The Visitors and Tourists “sector” is not defined as a sector by IMPLAN since it draws from Accommodations, Food and Beverage, Retail, Entertainment, and Transportation sectors. Therefore, the V&T sector was assembled from relevant IMPLAN industries.  To build the V&T sector,  TCAD referred to the Tourism Economics 2015 report for the Finger Lakes region of New York. Using its distribution of visitor spending, portions of relevant industries were aggregated to create the V&T sector.  The V&T data here does not exactly match the Tourism Economics values: output is 25% higher, employment is 20% lower, compensation is 5% lower.

Overview: The total gross product of the Tompkins County economy is about $9 billion.  That is divided nearly evenly between local sectors that provide goods and services to local residents, and traded sectors. This report focuses on the traded sectors — the wealth generating sectors of the economy, which sell their goods and services outside the County and often outside the region. Education Services and the Visitors and Tourists sectors are defined as “traded” sectors because the funds to purchase those goods and services come from outside the County.  Education is the largest sector, comprised primarily of Cornell University and Ithaca College.  The next largest sectors are Manufacturing and HighTech. Locally manufactured goods include automotive and machine parts, electronics, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and innovative materials.  High Tech includes scientific and technical research, software design, materials testing, and mobile and tech-enabled services.  Mining primarily extracts salt, as well as sand and gravel.  Agriculture primarily exports milk as well as fruits, vegetables, field crops, and other animal production.

The total number of jobs in Tompkins County including students who work on the campuses, is about 65,000 jobs.  Total compensation generated by the local economy is about $3.2 billion.

Tompkins Employment: Counts part-time and full-time jobs


Summary: Education Services is clearly the County’s economic engine, generating 22% of jobs and 30% of compensation. The High Tech sector contributes 8.5% of employment and with good paying jobs it generates 11% of compensation. Manufacturing generates 4.9% of jobs and 7% of compensation. The Visitors and Tourism sector generate 4.4% of jobs with significant entry level opportunities.  However, the lower wages result in 2.5% of the County’s total compensation.  Utilities, Mining, and Ag, Fish, Forestry sectors are the smallest traded sectors.