Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

December 21, 2012

Local job market takes a hit

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Struggles continued last month for the Buffalo Niagara Falls job market, as the region lost 1,500 jobs over the past year, the state labor department reported Thursday.

The decline was the fourth consecutive monthly drop in the total number of jobs in the Buffalo Niagara region, although the pace of the drop — at an annual rate of 0.3 percent — remains relatively modest. However, it still trailed the rest of the state and country.

Nationwide, job growth during November increased by 1.8 million jobs or 1.4 percent, while New York saw growth increase by 90,000 jobs or 1 percent. The state gained 83,500 private sector jobs, despite being impacted by the loss of 29,100 private sector jobs in November due to the widespread impact of Hurricane Sandy on the greater New York City region.

Between October and November 2012, New York State’s unemployment rate fell from 8.7 percent to 8.3 percent.

“In 2012, New York’s economy grew by 83,500 private sector jobs. These year-to-date figures are particularly strong given the negative impact of Hurricane Sandy to our state’s economy,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

The statistics released Thursday show that the Buffalo Niagara region’s trouble was centered around the goods producing occupations, primarily local factories and construction. At the same time, private sector services jobs were flat and government jobs inched up by 0.1 percent.

Construction jobs, which had been a bright spot of the local employment market for more than a year, were down by 3.1 percent over the past 12 months. Factory jobs, which had rebounded sharply after enduring steep declines during the recession, dropped by 1.7 percent over the last year.

Statewide, professional and business services added the most jobs, with 55,000 created over the past 12 months. Sector job gains over this period were focused in professional, scientific and technical services, as well as administrative and support services. Private educational and health services had the second largest increase in jobs over the past year with 27,800 added.

Over the past year, construction lost more jobs (-17,400) than any other industry sector in the state. Employment losses in the manufacturing sector, which was 7,000 jobs lost over the past 12 months, were greatest in non-durable goods, especially in chemical manufacturing.

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