Rochester booms in 2010
Rochester's economy was the 14th-fastest growing out of 366 metropolitan areas in the nation from 2009 to 2010, according to new statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The metro area's real Gross Domestic Product increased 6.9 percent to $8.7 billion, the bureau said.
"It's a very good thing," said Gary Smith, president of the Rochester Area Development Inc. "It's testament to, obviously, the strength of our economy here."
The boom followed two stagnant years, as GDP grew 0.9 percent in 2008 and dropped 0.3 percent in 2009.
In metro areas nationwide, GDP increased 2.5 percent in 2010, after dropping 2.5 percent in 2009, the BEA said.
In terms of total dollar value, Rochester was ranked 185, which put it roughly in the middle. GDP is the market value of all goods and services produced.
Not surprisingly, most of Rochester's increase in GDP — 4.55 percentage points — came from the education and health services sector, which generally has flourished. No other sector contributed more than 1 percent.
Mayo Clinic is easily Rochester's largest employer, with more than 30,000 on its payroll here.
"To have the state's largest private employer, and arguably one of the nation's economic engines in our community, is a benefit we all share," said John Wade, president of Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It does make me incredibly grateful for an environment where business has the opportunity to develop, grow and prosper," Wade said.
Still, for Rochester to continue to grow, it has to keep up its infrastructure and education system, and pay attention to economic development, Wade said.
"If we get that right," he said, Rochester should "continue to have solid growth over the next 10 years."