NY job count: more of the same

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

With some minor variations, the state Labor Department’s jobs report for July is almost a repeat of the previous month’s numbers.

On a year-to-year basis, comparing figures for last month to those for July 2016, the seasonally unadjusted data released today reflect the following trends:

  • New York as a whole gained 151,500 jobs—a growth rate of 1.9 percent statewide, versus a national employment increase of 1.7 percent, which was identical to the respective state and national percentage figures for June;
  • 89 percent of New York’s net new private jobs (134,500) were created in downstate’s 12-county Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District, including New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley;
  • after slumping in the second half of 2016 and earlier this year, private employment growth in New York City has rebounded strongly, to 2.8 percent (105,500 added jobs);
  • upstate’s largest metro areas had weak growth, including  private-employment declines in Buffalo-Niagara Falls (-0.2 percent) and Rochester (-0.3 percent) and weak growth rates (0.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively) in Albany-Schenectady-Troy and Rochester; and
  • outside the 12-county downstate region, the fastest growth rates were in Kingston, (2.5 percent), Watertown-Ft. Drum (up 1.6 percent) and Utica-Rome (up 1.1 percent).

On a statewide basis, the largely non-profit private educational and health services sector sector accounted for fully half of New York’s net new private jobs. At the other extreme, the state lost another 20,300 manufacturing jobs, according to the Labor Department data. During the same period, preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate the manufacturing sector nationwide added 63,000 jobs.

While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was decreasing slightly on a monthly basis, from 4.4 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July, New York’s unemployment rate moved in the opposite direction—from 4.5 percent to 4.7 percent on a month-to-month basis. The statewide rate was still slightly lower than the 4.9 percent rate for July 2016. Proportionally, unemployment in New York City increased slightly faster than the statewide rate, from 4.4 percent to 4.7 percent between June and July.

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- E.J. McMahon is the Research Director at the Empire Center for Public Policy.