Sandy Cleanup Effort Gives LI Jobs Boost

Long Island job fair
Long Island job fair

Long Island’s construction sector suffered through another down month in terms of job gains but it did get a slight boost in December thanks to Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts.

The New York State Department of Labor released employment data for December and found that the natural resources, mining and construction sector’s job count fell by 700 jobs compared to a typical decline of around 1,800 jobs.

Local hotels also saw an uptick in occupancy levels over that time as crews from out-of-state descended on Long Island to assist with hurricane recovery.

Occupancy levels at hotels are at 95 percent, up 30 percent from the normal rate at this time of the year, the labor department said.

“Part of this larger-than-normal increase is due to hiring from the Hurricane Sandy cleanup effort,” department of labor market analyst Shital Patel wrote as she described a job count increase of 4,500 between November and December compared to the more likely result of 3,700.

Overall, private sector jobs on Long Island increased over the year by 8,000. But the .08 percent jump in jobs was outpaced by the state (1.6 percent) and the nation (1.7 percent).

More than half of LI’s private industries gained jobs in December compared to 2011. Educational and health services saw a jump of 5,500, financial activities gained 3,800 jobs, professional and business services increased by 3,000 and trade, transportation and utilities also felt a spark, adding 1,500 jobs.

The sectors still battling to get back on their feet, natural resources, mining and construction, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and information all suffered job count declines in December.

The local government didn’t go unfazed, shedding 6,100 jobs, the labor department said.

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