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LI employment market adds 11,300 jobs, data shows

Job applicants attend a job fair last month

Job applicants attend a job fair last month at the Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Education Center in Westbury hosted by BOCES and the Department of Labor. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Long Island’s economy saw modest job growth in November, led by gains in the health care and construction sectors, state data released Thursday show.

The Island’s job market had 11,300 more jobs in November, up 0.8% over the same month last year, according to state Labor Department data. In October, the region saw a year-over-year job gain of 14,600 jobs.

Four of the Island’s nine job sectors tracked by the state reported gains in November.

"Over the past year, the bulk of job creation has been concentrated in three industries," said Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the Labor Department’s Hicksville office. With few exceptions, like manufacturing, most of the gains made in 2019 have been in health care, construction and restaurant hiring. "That really hasn’t changed that much,” she said.

Health care, the region’s largest job creator, added 8,000 jobs year-over-year, the department said. Construction saw an increase of 6,400 jobs over last year. Leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants, reported a gain of 3,900 jobs over last November, and manufacturing saw an increase of 500 jobs year-over-year.

While job growth has largely been concentrated in a few industries, Patel said, "near historic low unemployment rates combined with an aging workforce has led to hiring in almost every industry, even those that are losing jobs.”

John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association business group, said despite slower job growth on a month-to-month basis, signs point to a healthy holiday shopping season. 

"Just 300 [private sector] jobs were added on Long Island between October and November, less than the typical gain of 3,100 jobs during this period," Rizzo said in an email. "But this follows a much larger than normal gain in jobs during the previous month.  Jobs growth was solid in the leisure and hospitality and retail sectors, which is a good sign for the holiday season."

The total number of jobs on Long Island rose to 1.367 million in November, from 1.356 million a year earlier.

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