To the Editor:
I am addicted to reading the various lists that are published in your newspaper. I pay special attention to the formulas used to compile your lists.
I take exception to your list titled “Capital Region Fastest Growing Jobs” in the March 16-22, 2007, paper. I find this particular list to be nothing more than a crystal ball, providing information that is extremely misleading.
For example, No. 37 on the list is loan counselors, with a projected 20 percent increase over the next 10 years. What is interesting to note is that there are only 100 loan counselors presently in the Capital Region and in 10 years, there will only be 120. If the purpose of this list was to allow young adults to identify careers with job potential, I believe using the projected percentage change is not the best way to do that.
According to the New York state Department of Labor, over the next 10 years there will be approximately 10,000 more food and beverage serving employees in the Capital Region, resulting in only a 10.6 percent increase. In addition, there will be an additional 9, 900 retail sales worker positions in the Capital Region, which amounts to only an 8.4 percent increase.
As best as I can tell, this list is the only list that your newspaper has published in the past 12 months that was based on crystal ball projections and not hard facts.
For example, you have residential real estate firms on the page opposite of the fastest growing jobs, which is based off of the factual real estate volume in 2006 by these firms. To avoid future misperception I would encourage you to avoid using projections in determining a list. Furthermore, if you are using projections for the purposes of helping young employees, you should really use hard numbers and not percentage changes.
I would note that what spurred my curiosity into how this list was formulated was the fact that while attorneys are not on the list, at position No. 72 is paralegals and legal assistants. That made me wonder whether or not attorneys would start becoming obsolete in the Albany area and their jobs would be taken over by legal assistants. I was very happy to determine that, after reviewing the New York state Department of Labor Web site, the future for attorneys is brighter than that of paralegals and legal assistants (It is projected that the Capital Region will add approximately 240 attorneys and judges over the next 10 years, while only adding 130 legal assistants).
I wish you and your paper continued success and I wish your outstanding researcher, Melissa Gold, would consider using her law school degree by becoming a member of my firm.
- Mathew B. Tully, Tully Rinckey & Associates P.L.L.C., Albany