Job growth on Long Island remained strong in September and October but showed signs of slowing, data from the state Labor Department released Thursday show.
There were 24,600 more jobs on Long Island in October than a year earlier. That number slowed from September's gain of 26,300. And both months slacked off from August, which showed a year-over-year increase of 27,100 jobs.
Still, the October report hit some high-water marks. The local-government education sector expanded for the first time this year -- up by 2,900 jobs. That gain signals that large-scale layoffs at public schools have tapered off.
And last month marked the 41st consecutive month of gains in the private sector on Long Island, the Labor Department said.
"That is a very impressive long-term trend that I think will continue," said John A. Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association, the Island's largest business group.
In October, the private sector had 25,400 more jobs than the year before. But the government sector's overall decline of 800 jobs cut the Island's total employment gain to 24,600 jobs. In total, the Island had 1.30 million jobs in October, up from 1.28 million the year before.
The department released results for both September and October because of a backlog created by the partial government shutdown. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the state and local reports, was closed during the 16-day shutdown in October.
Professional and business-services jobs, among the Island's highest-paying, led gains in October -- up by 11,200.
"There has been growth in the low-wage sectors, but we've also seen growth in higher-wage sectors such as professional and business services and construction," said Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the department's Hicksville office.
That category includes law firms. Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman in East Meadow has hired 11 people since the summer.
One of those hires is GinaMarie DePaula, 25, who joined the firm as an associate pending admission to the bar. The Glendale, Queens, resident graduated in May from Hofstra University Law School. While at the school she won a Certilman scholarship and interned in the law firm's commercial lending department, where she works now.
She said she wanted to remain with the firm because of the opportunities it offers. "Business is growing here," she said.
Manufacturing had the biggest decline in October, down 2,900 jobs, compared with a year earlier. The department uses year-over-year comparisons because local data aren't adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations.
The Labor Department will release the unemployment rate for both September and October on Tuesday. The jobless rate was 6.2 percent in August, down significantly from 7.5 percent a year earlier.