ALBANY (AP) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo began a statewide tour Tuesday to cheer on business projects that have gotten under way with the help of tax breaks, as New York's unemployment rate remains stubbornly higher than the national average.
Accompanied by local and state officials in Syracuse, Cuomo echoed what many business leaders and economists have long said -- economic recovery depends partly on the image that conditions are improving or will soon.
He planned to visit Long Island on Friday, followed by eight other stops before the end of the year.
"We have real results. We have cranes in the sky," said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney in Syracuse.
"When you can count the cranes, it means you're building and you're moving forward," the governor added. "The energy is up, you can feel it here. You can feel it when you are on the ground. You can feel it all across the state. We have made great progress in two years.
"Getting people to believe is the first step," Cuomo said. "And when people believe a region is coming back, they invest, they buy homes, they fix their homes and it becomes a positive synergy, and that's what's happening here."
Meanwhile, unemployment rates in the area last month -- 8.6 percent in Syracuse; 8.3 percent in Onondaga and Madison counties; and 10.2 percent in Oswego County -- were worse than a year ago. And layoffs were announced Monday at The Post-Standard newspaper.
The unemployment rate statewide was 8.8 percent in September, compared to 8.2 percent nationally. The statewide rate was lower than in July, but higher than a year ago, when it was 8.1 percent.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August that 32 of 372 metropolitan areas nationwide had higher unemployment rates this June than in June a year ago. All 13 of New York's metro areas -- from Buffalo to New York City -- accounted for more than a third of them.
Cuomo has wide support for his plan to have local officials and business operators pull together on regional development plans then compete for state tax breaks and other incentives. But his plan also allows companies to get substantial tax breaks to locate operations in New York while established employers pay high state and local taxes.