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LI jobs edge up by 12,300 in November: Labor Department

Long Island and New York City residents seek

Long Island and New York City residents seek work at Nassau's 11th Mega Job Fair at Nassau Community College last October. Credit: Anthony DelMundo

The number of jobs on Long Island edged up in November, preliminary state data released Thursday show.

The Island had 12,300 more jobs last month than in November 2017, representing a 0.9 percent increase, the Labor Department said. The gain was lower than the 12,600 year-over-year increase in October.

October’s job growth was revised higher from the 12,200 year-over-year increase the department first reported.

Last month, the health care sector led gains on the Island with 7,200 jobs added, led primarily by growth in ambulatory services such as urgent care facilities. The total number of health care jobs reached an all-time high of more than 277,000 jobs in November, said Shital Patel, labor-market analyst in the department’s Hicksville office.

The department's data go back to 1990. The department focuses on year-over-year job changes because the local data aren't adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in employment.

The construction sector added 6,800 jobs year-over-year in November. Leisure and hospitality jobs rose by 3,400.

The largest losses came from the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which was down 2,700 jobs last month. The sector includes wholesale and retail trade employees. 

Patel said that retail employment on a year-over-basis fell by 1,500 jobs — mostly due to the closure of big box retailers like Toys R Us.

However, holiday hiring rose more than usual.  

“The holiday hiring season has been fairly good compared to what we’ve seen on average,” she said.

Warehouse and distribution jobs increased modestly on a month-to-month basis, which Patel said may have been caused by increased online shopping. 

Long Island had a total of 1.37 million jobs last month.

The recent data reaffirm a trend of "moderate job growth over the past two years," Patel said. "Combined with unemployment rates nearing full employment, we’ve definitely heard from companies having a hard time hiring.”

Among the state's metropolitan areas, Ithaca experienced the biggest employment gain, up 3.3 percent year over year.  

The Labor Department will release the November unemployment rate on Wednesday.

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