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State: LI economy grows by 11,900 jobs in July

Long Island saw continued job growth last month as the transportation and warehousing sectors joined other perennial job creators, state data released Thursday show.

The Island’s economy grew by 11,900 jobs in July from a year earlier, according to state Labor Department data. That compared with a 5,300 job gain year-over-year in May.

The region's biggest job generator — health care — had the largest employment gains last month, with 8,600 more jobs year over year. Much of its growth was in ambulatory health care services.

Construction hiring came in a close second, adding 8,500 jobs last month.  

Five of the nine private industry sectors posted job gains in July.

Newer to that list of job creators was the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which grew by 800 jobs over the same time last year. The sector includes warehousing and courier professions.

Throughout the first half of the year, “the trade, transportation and utilities sector has been held back by the job losses we saw in retail recently,” said Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the Labor Department’s Hicksville office.

While the growth of e-commerce and its need for last-mile delivery warehouses have “definitely helped” the growth of the sector, Patel said, “more of it has to do with the high real estate costs in New York City forcing companies to move out to Long Island.”

Leisure and hospitality saw a continued streak of high job generation in July, adding 3,900 jobs.

“Hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector in June and July hit record highs for each of those months,” Patel said. While hiring in the sector has typically been driven by growth in restaurant and bar staffing in July, most of the growth last month “was mainly in arts, entertainment and recreation.”

John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association, the region's largest business group, said the increase in leisure hiring is a sign that "we’re going to have a really good tourist season when the results are in.”

“The fact that the larger percentage gains have been in arts and entertainment is a pretty strong indicator that consumers have a lot of confidence,” Rizzo said. 

Manufacturing added 900 jobs, primarily driven by growth in the production of durable goods. 

The information, financial activities and professional and business services sectors all saw declines year over year. Professional and business services, which includes legal and accounting professions, saw a loss of 6,800 jobs year over year. 

The total number of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties rose to 1.375 million in July, a 0.9 percent increase from a year earlier. In July last year Long Island had 1.363 million jobs.

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