The number of jobs on Long Island grew modestly last month, driven by gains in health care and robust hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector, state data released Thursday show.
The Long Island economy grew by 5,300 jobs in June from a year earlier, according to state Labor Department data. That compared with a 3,400-job gain year-over-year in May.
The health care sector, the region's biggest job generator, had the largest employment gains in June, with 12,300 more jobs year over year. Much of that growth was contributed by gains in ambulatory health care services. Four of the nine job sectors posted job gains in June.
Construction posted a gain of 7,600 jobs last month, representing an increase of 8.9 percent, year over year.
While health care and construction have continuously led the region in job creation, increased hiring in the manufacturing of durable and nondurable goods has been a recent bright spot, said Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the Labor Department’s Hicksville office.
Manufacturing added 1,300 jobs in June, a 1.8 percent increase over last year.
Leisure and hospitality entered the summer season on a strong note, adding 700 jobs in June over the same time last year, Patel said.
The biggest changes in leisure hiring were on a month-over-month basis, she said.
“In June, looking on a month-over-month change, leisure and hospitality added 12,100 jobs, which is a high for the month of June,” she said. “Most of the strength was concentrated in restaurants, which hired more than double the average for the month of June.”
Much of that growth was driven by restaurant hiring. “On a month-over-month basis, May and June are the months where they hire the most number of employees,” Patel said. “In May and June, restaurants hired 11,300 people, compared to an average of 7,300.”
John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association, the region's largest business group, said the hiring in leisure is indicative of broader economic prosperity.
“Jobs gains on Long Island between May and June were substantially above the norm for this period,” Rizzo said.
He pointed to the month-over-month growth in leisure hiring in particular as “a strong positive sign for summer tourism."
“This suggests that businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector anticipate strength in discretionary consumer spending, which typically occurs when overall economic conditions are favorable,”
Despite the growth in some industries, sectors like professional and business services — which includes legal and accounting jobs — saw continued declines in employment on a year-over-year basis.
The sector lost 10,200 jobs year-over-year, a decline of 5.7 percent in June.
The total number of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties rose to 1.385 million in June, a 0.4 percent increase from a year earlier. In June last year, Long Island had 1.380 million jobs.