Private-sector jobs up statewide, but it's not all good news

Mar 11, 2013

Job figures are on the rise across New York state,  however private-sector jobs in some upstate areas have declined according to the state Department of Labor’s latest jobs report.

In the month of January, private sector jobs jumped 1.4 percent across the state, compared to the same month last year.

New York added 29,600 jobs – nearly one out of every five jobs added across the country in January, with 166,000 jobs added nationally.

The Capital region, Binghamton, and Buffalo all saw positive trends, with 10,000 jobs added altogether.

The state’s decent job performance led New York to a record 17 month streak of private-sector job growth.

Labor Department analyst Tammy Marino says employment levels in the private education and health care sectors were at a record high during the month also.

Rochester and Syracuse saw job losses

However, the jobless rate in New York grew slightly despite steady growth in the private-sector. Unemployment figures for January saw a slight bump from December to 8.4 percent.

Some areas of upstate New York also posed a contrast to the state’s addition of nearly 30,000 jobs.

Marino says Rochester and Syracuse reported job losses, with a decline of 600 and 200 jobs respectively.

She says two key sectors contributed to the change in momentum for job growth in parts of the upstate region.

“Manufacturing and construction. Both of these sectors started out 2012 on a fairly positive note, but by the second half of the year, especially in manufacturing, we began to see some job loss.”

Marino says this is the first time in almost three years that employment has fallen from its previous year’s level in the Rochester region.

Warmer weather expected to bring jobs

However, she says a slight dip in employment is usually expected around this time of year.

“The numbers did come in a little weak in December and again in January. However, employment typically falls to the lowest level for the month in January, specifically in the more seasonal industries.”

Marino says she expects to see a continued weakness in the manufacturing sector in the coming months, partly due to the downsizing of Kodak. But she is optimistic it will pick up again as the warmer months roll around.

“With the warmer weather coming in the next few months, we will expect to see a resurgence in Hiring. Especially in industries like construction, the leisure industries and food processing.”

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The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.