Niagara Gazette

December 21, 2013

Region recovers jobs lost in recession

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The Buffalo Niagara region added jobs at its highest pace in almost two years and pushed its total job count above its November 2008 level, which is when the Great Recession began.

According to November figures the state Labor Department released on Thursday, the region added 7,200 total jobs over the past 12 months, as well as 7,400 private sector jobs. Those are increases of 1.3 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, with the private job count increase the third highest in the state.

All of that led to a job count of 562,800, exceeding the November 2008 level, in which the region’s total job count was about 562,000.

During November, the region’s job growth was led by the service industry, which added 7,300 jobs over the past 12 months. Education and health services added 3,400 jobs over the same period. Healthcare and social assistance produced 3,100 new jobs.

John Slenker, a labor market analyst, said the region did well, and even better considering the growth spanned a variety of industries. Manufacturing was down about 400 jobs and government lost about 200 jobs total, with 500 losses on the federal level.

“An economist likes to see growth, but you get leery when the growth is in one or two sectors, recovery would be fragile,” Slenker said. “This is across the board ... growth rates are stable.”

Statewide, New York’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in November, down from 7.7 percent the previous month. That’s the lowest the rate has been since January 2009.

The state also added 4,300 private sector jobs, 4,500 total, from October to November. Officials said the private sector total added to a record high.

“In November 2013, the state’s economy continued to expand, reaching another all-time high number of private sector jobs – 7,493,500,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics, in a statement.

The number of unemployed New Yorkers also decreased over the month from 739,800 in October to 716,000 in November.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.