Private-sector job growth in New York continued to trail the U.S. average on a year-to-year basis during the 12 months ending in May, according to the latest monthly state jobs report from the state Labor Department.
The state had 139,300 more private-sector jobs in May than it did a year earlier, an increase of 1.8 percent. However, New York would have added about 63,000 more jobs if it had kept up with the national private job growth pace of 2.6 percent on an annual basis.
For the first time in years, New York’s fastest-growing metro area on a year-to-year basis was not New York City but Buffalo-Niagara Falls, which added 13,100 jobs. That translated into a growth rate of 2.8 percent, slightly above the national average and Buffalo-Niagara’s strongest showing since 2000, according to a regional labor analyst quoted in the Buffalo News. One-third of the growth reportedly was attributed to construction, including jobs generated by major building projects financed with state government dollars.
New York City remains the state’s main job-growth engine adding 94,600 private jobs, a growth rate of 2.7 percent.
The year-to-year employment picture as of May was much less impressive in the rest of upstate and in downstate suburb regions of Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. None of New York’s other large metro areas matched the statewide private-sector employment increase, and only one (Rochester, at 1.6 percent) managed to exceed even one-half the national rate. Job declines were posted for several smaller metro areas, including chronically stagnant or declining Binghamton as well the previously stronger Glens Falls, Ithaca and Watertown areas, which had been doing better until recently.
(The state Labor Department also estimated that New York had added private jobs at a faster rate than the U.S. average on a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, but that statistic is not broken down by region and is less reliable as an indicator of longer term trends.)