Fewer Long Islanders found themselves unemployed in September, compared to a year ago. But at the same time, the private sector job count on Long Island fell.
That’s according to recent Labor Department statistics, the latest of which were released this week.
“Long Islanders may be finding jobs outside the region,” sid Michael Crowell, an economist with the New York State Labor Department.
Many forces may be coming into play as the the economic slide lumbers on: Some people “...may be becoming discouraged and dropping out of the labor force,” Crowell said.
Those who are finding employment may now be working in New York City, which is adding jobs.
There was a slight statistical improvement locally:
Unemployment in Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay crept up slightly in September. The unemployment rate for September in Oyster Bay was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in August. Unemployment was at 6.7 percent in Oyster Bay in Sept. 2010. There were 9,400 unemployed in Oyster Bay last month, unchanged from August and down from 10,400 in Sept. 2010.
In Nassau, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in September, down from 6.5 percent in August. It was at 7.2 percent in September 2010. There were 45,200 Nassau County residents listed as unemployed in September, up from 44,300 in August, and 49,000 a year ago.
Meanwhile, the private sector job count across Long Island fell over the year by 8,100. Government employment – local school districts, in particular – took one of the biggest hits, declining by 4,700 jobs.
Construction proved to be a bright spot in September, adding 1,300 jobs. “It’s been losing jobs for three-plus years,” Crowell said. “The fact that it’s been coming back is hopeful.”
Healthcare is continuing to hire. North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, for instance, is looking for an assistant director of patient care services and quality management. It is also seeking a dietician technician.
Also continuing to hire is professional business services. In this category, the subset that includes copy shops, collection agencies and repossession companies show the most growth, Crowell said.
Overall, Crowell said, “I’d rather unemployment be going down than up.”
As for job numbers, he added, “It doesn’t seem to indicate a recovery is in the works any time soon, unfortunately.”