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NYS report expects tourism, health job growth

The budget office foresees 27,700 more hospitality jobs

The budget office foresees 27,700 more hospitality jobs in 2013. Above, the Palm Court at the Carltun restaurant in East Meadow. (Oct. 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Tourism and health care are where the jobs will be in New York State this year.

A report from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's budget office projects 111,100 people will be hired statewide in the next 12 months, a gain of 1.3 percent over 2012.

The biggest employment gains will be in leisure and hospitality, including hotels (27,700 jobs); health care and social services (16,900), and professional, scientific and technical services (14,800).

All three fields are key to Long Island's economic growth, though a local expert said none of them saw significant hiring last year.

Statewide, layoffs will be concentrated this year in three areas, the report said: manufacturing and mining (1,500 jobs); finance and insurance (600), and utilities (200).

The budget office forecast, contained in Cuomo's proposed 2013-14 fiscal plan that was released last week, does not provide regional forecasts.

Budget analysts for Cuomo project New York State's economy will grow 0.7 percent this year, down from 1.9 percent in 2012. That's far less than others have predicted.

Craig Alexander, chief economist at TD Bank, said he anticipated the state's economy would expand "a little below 2 percent," in line with the U.S. growth rate. "What we are expecting to see is moderate economic growth," he said in an interview. "The first half [of 2013] will be the weaker half of the year, but conditions will gradually improve."

Alexander and others said the national and state economies would benefit from gains in residential real estate. "Housing is going from a headwind to a tail wind," Alexander said.

Statewide, the Cuomo budget analysts forecast that personal incomes would climb 2.9 percent this year, or one-tenth of a percentage point higher than in 2012 as investment houses on Wall Street pay out larger year-end bonuses.

Inflation will remain in check, according to the analysts, who said the state's consumer price index will rise 1.8 percent, compared with 2 percent in 2012.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli agreed with this assessment of New York's economy. "There are more positive signs than negative signs, but certainly we're seeing a very, very slow economic recovery" from the 2007-09 downturn, he said. "Too many people are not working."

Pointing to last year's "sluggish" job growth locally, Pearl Kamer, chief economist at the Long Island Association business group, said the economy was "sputtering" before superstorm Sandy hit on Oct. 29.

"The industries that we once looked to propel the Long Island economy forward -- professional services, technology and health care -- have really slowed to a halt," she said, referring to job growth. "We have to develop some new engines. . . . We haven't found them yet."

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