Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 18, 2013

Buffalo Niagara Falls region sees June job gain

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

The Buffalo-Niagara Falls region added 4,000 jobs in June from a year ago, a 0.7 percent increase, according to figures released Thursday by the state labor department. 

The figures suggest job growth continued locally, but not as fast as the rest of the country. The region’s rate of job growth was lower than the statewide increase of 1.1 percent or 93,800 and the 1.7 percent or 2.2 million rise nationwide.

June was the 29th of the last 30 months where the region saw an overall job gain. Even though it's a small gain, June was a very nice month, said John Slenker, a state labor market analyst.

And since summer is a good season for the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as construction, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area should see a seasonal bump in employment.

"This was a nice month," Slenker said. "If we maintain this, that would be very nice."

In the private-sector, the region saw a 5,800 or 1.3 percent increase over the year. The country added 2.28 million jobs, a 2 percent increase, while the state added 110,500 private sector jobs, a 1.5 percent increase.

Jobs in financial activities remained about the same from a year ago, at 32,400 total. Professional and business services jobs rose by 3.1 percent to 76,700 total. Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 2.4 percent from last year, to 59,700.

Manufacturing jobs here declined by 0.9 percent, to 50,900. Government jobs declined by 2 percent and construction jobs dropped by 4.2 percent.

Slenker said part of the issue with the construction industry is how well it did last year. A drier spring and summer led to more construction work, while this year saw a much wetter June than normal.

"Rain puts a damper on things," he said.

Statewide, educational and health services saw the biggest increase, with 37,200 jobs added. Professional and business services added 35,900 and leisure and hospitality added 27,100.

Government and manufacturing had the biggest losses, each losing 16,700 statewide. Information lost 7,200.

Between May and June, New York state’s unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent -- the lowest it has been since February 2009 — just below the national rate. The nation’s unemployment rate in June remained at 7.6 percent.

The number of unemployed state residents fell by 8,500 to 720,900 in June, the labor department said.

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