Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 28, 2014

Jobs numbers climb

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Steady job growth continued in February, as the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region added 4,800 jobs over the past year, according to figures released Thursday by the New York State Labor Department.

That 1 percent increase came from the private sector, as public employment was flat, the labor department said. 

Labor Market Anaylst John Slenker said while employment isn’t growing in leaps and bounds, the area is showing a consistency that has lasted for the better part of four years.

There have been a few hiccups, like December, were the area lost jobs. But overall, most of the months have shown an increase in jobs ranging from .5 to 1.5 percent.

”It’s a very steady growth rate,” Slenker said. “We’ve sustained them for a very long time, these numbers are real.

Construction and manufacturing were the most interesting job sectors locally. Slenker said the cold wintery weather affected both areas, with construction’s totals from last year slightly inflated because of the milder winter.

Manufacturing is being affected because of a drop in auto sales. That’s possibly because few are out searching for a new vehicle.

”Who wants to stand out in a car lot when it’s 10 degrees out?” Slenker said. “And it wasn’t just 10 degrees here, it was all over the north.

Statewide, New York’s unemployment rate stayed at 6.8 percent. Local numbers will be available Tuesday. The state added 112,100 total jobs since February 2013 and 117,200 private sector jobs.

“The New York state economy continued its upward trend, adding 12,800 private sector jobs in February 2014. The state’s jobless rate held steady and remained at a five-year low,” said Bohdan Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics, in a statement.

However, the number of unemployed New Yorkers increased over the month, from 649,000 in January to 656,000 in February.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.