Sandy, Construction Projects Boost LI Job Count

Long Island job fair.
Long Island job fair.

One more month of private sector job gains and Long Island can claim three consecutive years of employment growth, analysts said in announcing April’s employment data Thursday.

The New York State labor department reported that LI’s private sector job count increased by 30,500 compared to last April, marking 35 consecutive months of growth in the region. LI’s year-to-year private sector growth rate was 2.9 percent, a full percent higher than the state’s total private job growth of 1.9 percent.

“Part of it is Sandy but there’s been overall increased construction projects in the region,” said Pital Shatel, associate economist at the state labor department.

Only recently has the construction sector seen double-digit gains, Shatel said. Previously, the industry was only gaining jobs at a 1 to 2 percent clip. Specialty trade contractors saw a 12.2 percent growth, she noted in her report.

Natural resources, mining, and construction brought in 3,300 jobs compared to April 2012, educational and health services grew by 7,200, and professional and business services by 5,300, the labor department said. Trade, transportation, and utilities enjoyed the largest gains, with 8,400 more jobs.

Manufacturing, information and financial activities lost a combined 2,100 jobs and the public sector shed 3,300 jobs, mostly in education.

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