2004-09-23 / Business & Finance

Private Jobs Continuing Climb: Economist

New employment statistics from the Department of Labor show that New York’s economy continued to strengthen in August 2004 - the 12 consecutive month of private job growth in the State. Moreover, the pace of private-sector job creation continued to expand in New York City.

From August 2003 to August 2004, New York State private payrolls rose 77,100 or 1.1 percent. Over this period, private employment rose 48,600 or 1.7 percent in New York City, 18,500 or 1.2 percent in the five suburban counties and 10,000 or 0.4 percent in upstate New York.

New York City has been one of the nation’s biggest beneficiaries of the President’s tax cuts, which helped to revive the City’s financial markets and local employment.

The strengthening job market in New York City has led to a decline in the City unemployment rate to a seasonally-adjusted 6.7 percent in August 2004 compared with 7.5 percent in July 2004 and 8.4 percent in August 2003. The City unemployment rate in August was the lowest since September 2001. Furthermore, the statewide unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since November 2001.

Powerful growth in a broad range of industries contributed to the City recovery: retailing (+3.2 percent), publishing (+5.0 percent), broadcasting (+6.2 percent), leisure and hospitality (+5.9 percent) and professional and business services (+2.7 percent). While financial activities were essentially flat (-0.1 percent), employment services, largely temporary help agencies, rose a robust 16.2 percent. Growth in temporary jobs tends to be a leading indicator of job growth in other industries, particularly in financial services.

In the suburbs, private employment grew in Westchester (+1. percent), Rock-land (+2.1 percent), Putnam (+5.0 percent) and Long Island (+ 1.1 percent).

Among the upstate regions private gains were registered in the Dutchess (+2.6 percent), Newburgh (+2.4 percent), the Capital region (+1.5 percent), Jamestown (+1.3 percent), Sy-racuse (+1.0 percent), the North Coun-try (+1.0 percent), Utica-Rome (+0.4 percent), Binghamton (+0.3 percent) and the 17 non-metro counties outside the North Country (+1.0 percent). Private jobs declined in Western New York (-0.6 percent), Elmira (- 1.8 percent) and Rochester (-1.5 percent).

The private job figures in Utica-Roame and Western New York were restrained by the required reclassification of Indian-owned business, which are expanding rapidly, to local government.

This month Rochester experienced a substantial decline in manufacturing. Excluding Rochester, upstate private job gains were 0.8 percent over the 12 months.

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