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Mixed Picture for Hempstead Labor Market

Business and professional service sector shows gains.

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.”

Mac August 24, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Pension reform for teachers I believe is in the works with a new tier and longer contributions. That is where the state went wrong not the teachers or school districts. That problem needs to be fixed in Albany for the incoming educators. The system they created that is going up then to take money away is crazy. How dothey take less money in salary if they are already under contract? What is reasonable for public employees to pay for medical coverage in which they have no say controlled by the people upstate who also control deductables and how much it goes up each year. The system is broken and has been for years. Only now because of the economic times has it become more of a focus. when the markets were high and the private sector was going crazy living beyond their means all public workers were laughed at now that the tables have turned there is an uprising. We should all be ashamed to have waited this long to see a problem.
working joe August 24, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Mac contractual olbligations aside the entire pergram, not just the incoming, needs an overhaul. I understand there is an obligation but they have to work out something that will address the problem faster than 20years. Also if you have seen the structure of the new tier it is a joke. it is a mild change from the current tier and will not solve anything. As for them paying into healthcare this is the problem for every employee that contributed to healthcare. You wait to see how much your company will increase your contribution of the overall unbelieveable increase. Why do you feel a state employee should be any different. My healthcare contribution has increase 6%, 4% and 12%. the last 3 years
Mac August 24, 2011 at 06:55 PM
From what I have read the current teacher's pension system is separate from that of other NYS employees and is financially stable until 2030. The new people will pay in for a longer amount of time not just the absurd ten years. But once again they didnt have a choice in this it was the state. I do think the state employee should be different. they gave up the chance of ever being rich for security and healthcare is one of the issues that allowed the to make that decision. Once again I believe the state gave too much. The teachers do not have a choice nor do the employers to shop around for the plan that best fits their needs. Then the sate controls how much it goes up each year. I would imagine most teachers pay around 25% of the cost. Is it the same for private workers? I am sure some yes some no. The system is flawed and has been for decades. You cannot change it now after teachers or any public employee has been in the system but the incoming needs to change. The state and schools need to start buying out the older people while ushering in the new with changes. With that said an overhaul is needed starting in Albany. I find it ridiculous that Albany forces this cost to every district but in reality to us but then cuts money to support their mandates and their costs. You cant cut and leave every other financial responsibilty the same for the people paying your predetermined cost.
working joe August 24, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Mac it is seperate in name and as a manged fund the principle they are based on are the same. I can't agree it is financially stable,I guess depending on your definition. The contribuiton was 11% of salary this year if I recall. Since the fund is a 7% guaranteed return (stupid) then it looks like someone missed the mark. Additionally the contributions to this fund as a % of salary are forever above the return rate which leads me to believe they are not planning well and the returnagainst payout. As for not changing it for existing and buying older people out you have to change it. Even if it is you freeze it going forward, provided a one time salary adjustment and eliminate it. This keeps the ongoing cost shrinking going forward and doesn't cheat anyone out of anything they "earned" as a benefit. Buying out people never pays they still draw from the fund and if they live longer than the actuarial calculation you still pay. as for teachers and benefits 25% is NOT the norm. It is between 15%-20% but SLOWLY moving toward 25%
Mac August 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Joe it is the system the state created. Is it any wonder it is so poorly managed. The state continues to raise pension contribution by the employer and increases the health coverage which is a mandatory payment but then cuts back funding. It has to end. In reading many of these new teacher contracts it seems that 20+ percent is more the norm. My point of buying out higher salaries is to replace them with lower salaries and the new emplyee will be part of a new reasonable system. You are pretty much right on.

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