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Long Island loses 900 jobs, state Labor Department says

The market has been at or near full employment for a long time, so a pause in job creation is to be expected, an economist says.

Kristoff Galloway of Coram, right, speaks with Jeff

Kristoff Galloway of Coram, right, speaks with Jeff Berlent, a recruiter at a job fair at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue on June 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Long Island region shed 900 jobs, a decline of 0.1 percent, in the 12-month period that ended in November, according to state data released Thursday.

It’s the first time jobs have declined year over year in the region since May 2010.

“Job growth has definitely slowed over the last several months,” said Shital Patel, labor-market analyst in the Department of Labor’s Hicksville office. “But there were also a couple sectors that had an abnormally strong November last year, so there is an unfavorable comparison this year.”

For example, Long Island’s administrative, support, waste management and remediation services sector lost 5,400 jobs over the 12-month period. The sector includes a wide range of businesses, including administrative services, temporary health services and travel agencies.

Another economist said the Island job market has been so strong that it’s hard to keep showing gains.

“While jobs growth was flat year over year in November, the labor market has been at or near full employment for quite some time,” said John Rizzo, chief economist with the Long Island Association business group and a Stony Brook University professor. “In such an environment, it is not surprising to see a pause in jobs gains.

“Both labor force participation and the number of persons employed in October were at their highest levels in nine years. This indicates a labor market that continues to perform well overall,” Rizzo said.

The private-education and health-services sector led Long Island job growth in November, with 8,600 more jobs; health care accounted for 7,500 of them.

Trade, transportation and utilities shed 4,400 jobs, while professional and business services lost 4,000 jobs, according to the state data.

No New York region lost more jobs than Long Island. On a percentage basis, the Elmira region, which lost 800 jobs, dropped by more than 2 percent.

Despite the overall drop, “the labor market on Long Island still appears to be pretty strong,” Patel said.

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