Economy Slow to Rebound in TOBAY

A few potential bright spots show promise.

Job seekers on Long Island had a tougher go at landing employment in June, the first month since July 2010 without a net increase in private sector jobs.

Long Island lost 1,400 jobs over the past year, according to the most recent New York State Department of Labor findings.

In every sector, “we’ve either gained jobs at a slower rate or lost jobs at a faster rate,” said Michael Crowell, senior economist for New York State Department of Labor.

Construction, however, could eventually see gains if big development projects get the green light and if property owners embrace a new way to finance energy-saving improvements, Crowell noted.

Unemployment in both Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay increased slightly in June, according to recent Labor Department statistics, the latest of which were released on Tuesday.

Still, this most recent report shows that fewer people are looking for work now than a year ago.

In Oyster Bay, the unemployment rate for June was 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent a month ago. It was 6.7 percent in June 2010. There were 10,100 Oyster Bay residents listed as unemployed last month, compared to 9,300 in May, and 10,600 a year ago.

In Nassau, the unemployment rate increased to 6.9 percent in June, up from 6.5 percent in May. It was at 7.1 percent in June 2010.  There were 47,800 Nassau County residents listed as unemployed in June, up from 44,100 in May, and 49,500 a year ago.

Among the sectors that saw growth: educational and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; and professional and business services. Other sectors – manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, information, financial and construction – did not fare as well.

“It’s quite discouraging that the economy is taking so long to turn around,” Crowell said.

Still, Crowell saw a glimmer of hope: job loss in manufacturing remained flat, and job loss in construction actually declined for the first time since October 2008.  

And he added, if voters give the green light to on Aug. 1 and if the proposed Heartland Town Square in former Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center in Brentwood gets the approvals it needs, construction in particular would see a boost.

Another possible game changer: green jobs. On-bill financing legislation passed last month allows property owners access to financing through NYSERDA, the state’s energy authority, to retrofit residential and non-residential buildings, even if they would not qualify for traditional bank loans. They would pay back their loans via utility bills. The move could create more local construction jobs.


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