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Long Island added 21,500 jobs in June

Job seeker John Blackall, of Holbrook, speaks with

Job seeker John Blackall, of Holbrook, speaks with Shahrouz Torabi, left, Partner of New York Life, during the Hauppauge Industrial Association Workforce Development Conference and Career Fair on June 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

The Long Island economy had 21,500 more jobs in June than a year earlier, with the biggest gains in health care and tourism employment, preliminary state data released Thursday show.

The June increase is the largest monthly gain in the second quarter. May’s year-over-year gain was revised down to 19,700 jobs, from the 23,200 the Labor Department first reported.

The private education and health-services category job led gains in June, with a year over year gain of 9,400, all in health care.

Leisure and hospitality ranked second, with 5,100 more jobs. On a percentage basis the sector led job growth, up 3.8 percent, compared with health care’s 3.6 percent gain.

On a month-to-month basis, the sector added a total of 26,000 jobs in the second quarter, when a gain of 17,000 jobs is more typical, said Shital Patel, labor-market analyst in the department’s Hicksville office.

“Judging from these numbers, the local tourism industry is doing pretty well,” Patel said.

John A. Rizzo, a Stony Brook University economics professor and chief economist for the Long Island Association trade group, said the sector’s strong numbers reflect high consumer confidence here.

A Siena College Research Institute survey released earlier this month showed rising consumer confidence for the metro region, including Long Island. Consumer confidence rose to 93.3 points in June, from 92.4 points in March.

“Consumers are more confident,” Rizzo said. “They are spending more, and the leisure and hospitality sector seems to have been anticipating that as evidenced by their strong hiring.”

By contrast, the Island’s highest-paying sector, financial activities, shed 1,400 jobs, the most of any category.

But the sector shows some signs of improving. In the second quarter it added a total of 2,000 jobs, when a 1,300-job increase is more typical, Patel said.

“It may be picking up some steam,” she said.

The Island had 1.37 million jobs in June, compared with 1.35 million in June 2016. The private sector added 19,100 jobs, and the government sector expanded by 2,400, mostly because of hiring at local public schools.

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