Long Island lost 7,800 jobs in July. It was the third consecutive decline for the region, and, according to the latest report, the largest since March 2010. Even education and health services – usually a bright spot in the labor force – lost 1,300 jobs.
However, the most recent labor report shows some promise.
The region “posted modest gains in construction and the trades and relatively decent gains in professional business services,” said Jim Brown, a labor market analyst for New York State Department of Labor.
Unemployment in both Nassau County held steady in July, while in the Town of Hempstead it increased slightly to 7.3 percent, according to recent Labor Department statistics, the latest of which were released on Tuesday.
But while those numbers remained flat, fewer people may be looking for jobs, Brown said.
In Nassau, the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.8 percent in July, down from 6.9 percent in June. It was at 7.2 percent in July 2010. There were 46,800 Nassau County residents listed as unemployed in July, down from 47,700 in June, and 50,900 a year ago.
Yet, in North Hempstead and elsewhere on Long Island, skilled labor – in accounting, graphics, technology, legal, sales and marketing – is in demand. That’s according to Chris Campisi, who manages the Long Island and Queens office of the staffing firm Robert Half.
Business in the past had “cut so deeply, many are hiring full-time,” Campisi said.
That sentiment came as no surprise to Brown, who noted that professional and business services added 3,000 jobs in June.
“Corporate profits have been strong,” he said.
Consumer spending, he noted, was weak in July, which was why the leisure and hospitality sector – particularly arts and entertainment, which lost 4,800 jobs – did not fare well.
Of the entire Long Island market, Brown said “It’s a mixed picture.”