Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

April 18, 2014

Slow regional job growth continues

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Job growth in the region continued at a slow but steady pace in March, as the Buffalo Niagara Falls metro area added 3,200 jobs — all but 100 of them in the private sector — over the previous 12 months, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.

Compared to March of last year, the region saw a 0.6 percent increase in jobs, well below the 1.2 percent increase (103,600 jobs) seen by the state and the 1.6 percent increase (2.2 million jobs) seen nationwide during the same time period.

In the private sector, the Buffalo Niagara Falls area gained 3,100 jobs over the previous 12 months. That’s equivalent to an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent.

With the exception of a few months, March reflected a consistency that has lasted for the better part of four years, the labor department said.

There have been a few hiccups, such as in the month of December, when the area lost jobs. Job numbers increased, from 0.5 to 1.5 percent, most months.

Overall, New York added 103,600 jobs over the 12-month period that ended in March. Private sector generation of 108,200 jobs was offset by the loss of 4,600 government jobs. Statewide, educational and health services added 41,200 jobs since March 2013, while manufacturing lost 5,200 jobs.

Officials said the state has experienced employment growth in 33 of the past 39 months, adding New York remains one of only 16 states to have regained all of the private sector jobs lost during the recession.

“Looking over the past year, the state has added more than 100,000 private sector jobs. In addition, the state’s jobless rate has declined by 1 percentage point over the past 12 months, which is a steeper rate drop than in the nation as a whole over the same time frame,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Locally, job totals increased by 900 or 1 percent in the educational and health services sector during the past year, offsetting a loss of 600 jobs or 1.2 percent in manufacturing.

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