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LI adds 15,000 jobs in July from year earlier

Job hunters use computers on March 21, 2014,

Job hunters use computers on March 21, 2014, to search for jobs at the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center in Hauppauge. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Long Island job market was in a holding pattern in July, state Labor Department data released Thursday show.

The Island had 15,000 more jobs compared with July 2013. That increase was little changed from the 15,100 year-over-year gain in June. The private sector in July showed 18,000 more jobs than the year before. In June the year-over-year private-sector gain was 18,400.

Lower-wage sectors again led gains. The private education and health-services sector showed the biggest increase -- 7,300 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities, a category that includes retail, was up 6,900 jobs.

Among higher-wage sectors, professional and business services had 4,500 more jobs, and construction added 4,200.

"We had lot of strength in professional and business services," said labor-market analyst Shital Patel, in the department's Hicksville office. "Those are typically high-quality jobs."

And construction continued to be buoyed by downtown revitalization and hotel projects.

The Island's highest-wage and lowest-earning sectors both lost jobs in July. Financial activities, still plagued by large bank consolidations and mortgage operation cutbacks, was down 2,100 jobs. Leisure and hospitality lost 2,800.

The latter sector's declines weren't due to a drop in typical seasonal hiring like that on the East End, but from the closings of some golf courses and catering halls, Patel said.

The government sector lost the most jobs -- down 3,000 from a year earlier.

The department uses year-over-year comparisons because the data aren't adjusted to reflect seasonal swings in employment.

Though the job market remains uneven, it has opportunities for people with the right skills.

Jared Del Prete, 34, said his technology background has given him mobility in the job market. He was working as the director of digital strategy at a Manhattan web design and online marketing firm when a recruiter contacted him through LinkedIn about a job at EGC Group, a Melville marketing agency. The Syosset resident started in May as the director of digital strategy and search, a job that involves developing a social media presence for clients.

"I am very fortunate that I have the technology background in an industry that is still growing," said Del Prete, who has a bachelor's degree in information science and technology from the University at Albany. "It is an industry I have been passionate about for over a decade."

The state Labor Department will release the July unemployment rate for Long Island on Tuesday. June's jobless rate dropped to 4.9 percent, from 6.2 percent a year earlier.

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