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LI drags on downstate economy

Joan Augusto from Brentwood, who is unemployed, hands

Joan Augusto from Brentwood, who is unemployed, hands over her resume to R. timothy Shea, a Manager at Prudential. Employers from all locations all across Long Island sought candidates at a job fair Tuesday sponsored by the Nassau County and Long Island Job Finder. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

The economic slowdown has dethroned New York’s downstate economy as one of the strongest regions in the state. That shift has happened in large part because of Long Island’s weak labor market.

“Of the three labor markets in the downstate region, it’s been the weakest,” said Kevin Jack, statewide analyst for the New York State Labor Department.

Those markets are New York City, Long Island and Putnam-Rockland-Westchester. And they traditionally outperform the upstate economy. That began to change in May, Jack said.

The latest numbers from the Labor Department underscore the Island’s drag on the region. It had 13,000 fewer jobs in August, than it did the year before, while most of the other regions around the state had job gains or far fewer losses.

Click here for a chart showing how the regions performed.

Photo:  Participants at a Long Island job fair on Tuesday. (Sept. 13, 2011)

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