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September 22, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Lower Hudson Valley adds jobs in 2017, but unemployment also increases

The Lower Hudson Valley added 7,100 nonfarm jobs in 2017, according to state Department of Labor estimates, but trailed the nation and state in job growth.

Employment in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties grew by 1 percent, compared to 1.5 percent nationally and 1.2 percent statewide.

Despite more jobs, unemployment in the three-county region increased to 4.3 percent, from 4 percent a year ago. Nationally, unemployment narrowed to 3.9 percent from 4.5, and statewide to 4.4 percent from 4.5.

The region’s spike in unemployment can be explained in part by the dynamics of the labor market. More people were looking for work here.

The civilian labor force grew by 8,800 last year, to an estimated 805,500 people. And 6,000 more people were employed, totaling 770,600.

But higher employment was offset by higher unemployment. An estimated 34,900 people didn’t find jobs, 2,800 more than the year before.

The difference between 7,100 more nonfarm employment jobs and 6,000 more people in the labor market is due to different methodologies.

Nonfarm employment is based on a survey of 18,000 New York employers. Unemployment rates are calculated with a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics model and based partly on a survey of 3,100 households.

Using the nonfarm employment estimates, the regional private sector grew by 6,100 jobs, or 1 percent, compared to 1.7 percent nationally and 1.4 percent statewide.

Government work increased by 1,000, or 0.9 percent, compared to only 0.2 nationally and 0.1 statewide.

Trade, transportation and utilities in the three counties gained an estimated 3,500 jobs last year, bolstered by retail trade, up 1,800, and by wholesale trade, up 1,400.

Education and health services netted 3,400 more jobs, led by health care and social assistance, up by 3,000.

Natural resources, mining and construction grew by 1,200 jobs, including 1,900 by specialty trade contractors.

Leisure and hospitality lost 2,000 positions, including 1,900 in accommodation and food services.

The best local unemployment rates in the three counties were Ramapo, 3.6 percent, and Greenburgh, Port Chester and Spring Valley, 3.7 percent.

The worst unemployment rates were in Mount Vernon, 6 percent, Newburgh, 5.7 percent and Haverstraw, 5.5 percent.