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The latest economic data for New York continues to relate a tale of two states. Private sector employment growth in New York as a whole slightly trailed the national average on a year-to-year basis, but was much stronger in the New York City metropolitan area. The 52-county upstate region grew at just half the national rate from April 2012 to April 2013, according totoday’s monthly jobs release from the state Labor Department.

 12-month job change. Darker shading=less growth

The state added 137,000 jobs, a gain of 1.9 percent during a period when the nation was growing 2 percent. Fifty-seven percent of the net new private jobs were created in New York City, which grew at a rate of 2.5 percent. The strongest job growth (2.9 percent) was in Nassau-Suffolk–which may, in part, reflect ongoing reconstruction and recovery from Superstorm Sandy. The fastest-growing private-sector job category (up  43,100) was educational and health services, which also heavily dependent on federal, state and local government subsidies. The next fastest-growing, business and professional services, has been strongest in New York City in recent years.

The weakest year-to-year April job growth was in the gas-rich, frack-free Southern Tier, while Westchester, Putnam and Rockland turned in sub-par job growth downstate.

Continuing a now-familiar trend, the unemployment rate–measured in a separate household survey–is higher in New York City (8.4 percent) than in the rest of the state (7.4 percent), and the state as a whole had unemployment of 7.8 percent, a four-year low, but still slightly above 7.5 percent for the U.S. as a whole.  Outside the Bronx and Brooklyn, double-digit unemployment was concentrated in upstate rural areas, as shown in this breakdown from the Labor Department.

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E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

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