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NY forecasts state to gain 118,400 jobs, wage growth of 4.4%

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, NY Jan 13, 2016. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

New York State will add nearly 118,400 jobs this year, with restaurants, hotels and tourism-related businesses slated to hire the most, according to estimates from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget office.

State economists said the rate of job growth, year over year, is expected to be 1.3 percent, down from 2015’s 1.7 percent because of scant hiring by government, a slowing U.S. economy and stock market turmoil.

“State job growth continues to be led by construction, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education,” the economists said in a 350-page forecast accompanying Cuomo’s proposed 2016-17 state budget, which was released Wednesday. “Virtually flat growth in government jobs results in slightly lower overall job growth” for this year, they said.

The greatest number of jobs — 29,000 — are projected to be created in leisure, hospitality and other services.

Other sectors expected to hire large numbers include health care and social services, 27,000; and professional, scientific and technical services, 13,800.

The smallest employment gains are projected to be in manufacturing, 83, and utilities, 189.

In a change from recent years, government payrolls are expected to increase this year, up 871 positions. They were flat last year and down between 2009 and 2014.

On Long Island, the sectors employing the greatest number of people are trade, transportation and warehousing, 24.1 percent of all workers, and education and health care, 21.9 percent as of June 2015, according to the state Department of Labor. The state economists did not provide a jobs forecast for any of the state’s 10 regions.

They predicted wages, excluding bonus payments, will rise 4.4 percent in 2016 across the state after increasing 4.2 percent last year.

Bonuses paid to Wall Street traders and others in the financial services industry are projected to climb 2.1 percent, year over year. They dropped 3.6 percent last year compared with 2014.

Bonus payments drive purchases of second homes on the East End and luxury goods.

Inflation also is expected to be up.

The state Consumer Price Index, calculated by the budget office, is forcast to rise 1.9 percent compared with a gain of 0.3 percent last year and 1.5 percent in 2014.

The forecast is based on federal and state data, and projections from Moody’s Analytics.

The economists said, “The state economy appears to be undergoing a period of adjustment, during which above-average private sector job growth has coupled with a less volatile but more diversified wage base” as financial services jobs and their high pay no longer dominate.

They predicted the state’s unemployment rate will be unchaged from 2015’s 5.5 percent. The rate was 6.3 percent in 2014.

Cuomo said Wednesday, “The arrows are finally pointed in the right direction . . . the New York economy is on the rebound.”

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