Long Island posted strong employment numbers in November while also capturing its 42nd consecutive month of positive jobs gains, according to New York State employment data released Thursday.

The number of private sector jobs on the Island last month came in at 31,900, a 3 percent gain compared to the same time last year, exceeding the overall employment growth of the nation (2.1 percent) and the state (1.9 percent).

The state labor department’s report said LI received a boost from contractors who were forced to stall projects last year following the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Employment at those same contractors increased by 14.7 percent.

The biggest gains were seen in professional and business services and education and health services, with both industries adding 10,000 new employees.

The Island also added thousands of new jobs in natural resources, mining, and construction, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, the state said.

Local retailers contributed by hiring 5,100 employees between October and November for the holiday shopping season.

The state reported job losses in manufacturing, financial activities and information. There were also 200 fewer government jobs compared to last year.

The region was second to only New York City in job growth.

Unemployment data is due out next week.

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