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Long Island July unemployment rate 4.2%, down from 4.8% in July 2015

Representatives from Green Key Resources of Melville meet

Representatives from Green Key Resources of Melville meet job seekers during the Long Island Tech Job Fair on June 20, 2016 at the Cradle of Aviation in Garden City. Credit: Steve Pfost

Long Island’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in July from 4.8 percent in July 2015, the state Labor Department said Tuesday.

The jobless rate was the lowest for July since 2007, prior to the recession, said Shital Patel, labor-market analyst in the labor department’s Hicksville office.

The unemployment rate “continues to show that the labor market on Long Island is doing quite well,” Patel said. “The jobs have been growing rapidly out here across a number of different sectors.”

Nassau County had a 4 percent jobless rate, down 0.6 percent. Suffolk’s 4.4 percent rate dropped 0.6 percent from a year earlier.

The labor department uses year-over-year comparisons because local data aren’t adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations. The report is based on a survey of Long Island residents, regardless of where they work.

Among the Island’s incorporated areas, Hempstead Village had the highest jobless rate, at 5 percent. Long Beach’s 3.4 percent was the lowest.

The Island now has 62,800 unemployed residents, 9,700 fewer than a year earlier. The number of employed workers was 1.45 million.

The employment data show that workers who have reentered the labor force after being discouraged about their prospects have been finding jobs, Patel said.

“More hiring has been going on,” Patel said.

John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group, noted that both labor force participation and the number of persons employed are at multi-year highs for July.

“The Long Island labor market has continued to strengthen over the summer, which is a positive sign for earnings and consumer spending in the coming months,” Rizzo said.

The state’s unemployment rate last month was 5 percent, while the nation’s came in at 5.1 percent and New York City’s was 5.6 percent, on a seasonally unadjusted basis.


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