Thousands of new jobs have been created in recent years, and billions of public and private dollars invested in the region's growing tech economy. Still, out-migration continues . .So, even with the practically recession-proof economy in Albany (because government is the main industry) and the much-touted, heavily taxpayer-financed, tech "boom" there, more people still leave the region than come in.
This is proof positive that the heavily-government-involved model of economic development simply does not work.
What does work? What has always worked: Leverage our natural/public assets to lower overall costs of doing business, and then leave private businesses alone to figure out their own way.
New York's assets a century and a half ago were (1) lots of natural, low-cost hydropower and (2) a natural route to the West (the Mohawk Valley) . NY leveraged the latter by constructing the Erie Canal. With Cheap Transportation and Cheap Power, New York (driven by Upstate NY in particular) became a magnet for industry and thrived.
What has happened since? We now tax transportation in NY (the Thruway) -- turning transportation into a liability. All the cheap hydropower is sent Downstate to cheapen electricity rates there (where cost of electricity is likely a smaller percentage of income), which has the effect of raising Upstate's rates -- turning cost of power into a liability here.
Upstate will never regain it's role as an economic engine for New York State while policies are forged in a Downstate-dominated state government.
Returning to a form of government that gives Upstate more control over its destiny will solve economic problems, stop the out-migration, and benefit the entire state as a whole.