Schenectady, Albany, and New York City, once the major industrial cities of the lower Mohawk and the Hudson, continue their long-time manufacturing decline. Except in the mountain regions, the areas between cities are rich agriculturally. The Finger Lakes region has orchards producing apples, one of New York's leading crops; vineyards here and on Long Island make the state famous for its wines. The state produces other, diverse crops, especially grapes, strawberries, cherries, pears, onions, and potatoes (grown especially on E Long Island); maple syrup is extracted, and New York is the third leading U.S. producer of dairy goods. New York's mineral resources include crushed stone, cement, salt, and zinc.
The state has a complex system of railroads, air routes, and modern highways, notably the New York State Thruway. The New York State Canal System, an improvement of the old Erie Canal, is now mainly used for recreational travel; the Hudson and some other rivers still carry freight. Ocean shipping is handled by the port of New York City and, to a much lesser extent, by Buffalo. Hydroelectricity for N New York is produced by the St. Lawrence power project and by the Niagara power project, which began producing in 1961.
In spite of significant decline, New York has retained some important manufacturing industries, and, by virtue of New York City, it has strengthened is position as a commercial and financial leader. Although the largest percentage of the state's jobs lie in the service sector, its manufactures are extremely diverse and include printed materials, apparel, food products, machinery, chemicals, paper, electrical equipment (notably at Schenectady), computer equipment (Poughkeepsie), optical instruments and cameras (Rochester), sporting goods, and transportation equipment.
Printing and publishing, mass communications, advertising, and entertainment are among New York City's notable industries. Long Island has aircraft plants (although these have declined sharply since the 1970s) and Brookhaven National Laboratory, a research center. Many corporate headquarters and research facilities have relocated in Westchester co., N of New York City. Some commercial fishing is pursued in Lakes Erie and Ontario and in the waters around Long Island. The state has c.18,775,000 acres (7,294,000 hectares) of forest, but forestry is no longer a major industry.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.