NY’s job growth divide continues

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York’s latest employment data continue to show a lopsided divide between upstate and downstate.

As of November, the Empire State added 114,600 private-sector jobs on a year-over-year basis—a 1.4 percent increase during a period when private employment nationally grew by 1.9 percent, or one-third faster rate—according to the monthly jobs report released today by the state Labor Department.

New York City accounted for 72,500 jobs, a 1.8 percent growth rate. Long Island and lower Hudson Valley added 18,100 jobs, although Duchess-Putnam was the only downstate labor market to match the national growth rate of 1.9 percent.

Upstate was a very different story. As shown below, all of the region’s major labor markets grew by less than 1 percent. Binghamton and Syracuse had growth rates of zero, while sickly Elmira shrank by another percentage point. The numbers in the November jobs report reflect a continuation of New York’s decidedly uneven recovery from the Great Recession.

The state’s unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9 percent, slightly above the national level of 3.7 percent. In the long term, nearly all of the decline in unemployment from recessionary peak levels upstate has been due to labor force shrinkage rather than increases in the number of people reporting they have jobs, while the downstate trend has reflected increases in employment and the labor force.

A shown in the following chart from the jobs report, education and health services was (yet again) the leading source of new employment, while manufacturing declined (again).

 

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