City's record job growth hits a wall
For the third month in a row, New York City's unemployment rate dropped—down to 9.3% in October from 9.5% in September. Yet that number may offer little comfort: the city shed a total of about 3,000 jobs putting an end to record-breaking job growth seen earlier this year. "It seems very unlikely that New York City will break any record for highest job growth this year as it had indicated through the summer months," wrote Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist for Eastern Consolidated in an analysis of the state labor department's numbers released Thursday. New York City lost 5,700 private sector jobs in the past month and added 2,800 public sector jobs, according to seasonally adjusted data provided by Ms. Denham. The latest numbers do not take into account the impact of Superstorm Sandy on the city's economy. "This October report looks like the calm before the storm," said Ms. Denham. "We cannot speculate as to the extent of employment gains and losses in the next two months and beyond, but we can anticipate that the results will be more dramatic than this month." Over the past year, the city has added a total of 92,600 private sector jobs—or a 2.4% increase, though the unemployment rate last October was lower at 9.1%. New York City's growth over the past year outstrips the country's 1.7 % growth rate and the state's 1.8 % rate. New York City has added 219,800 jobs since the bottom of the recession, Ms. Denham said. The city's unemployment rate peaked at 10% in June and July before dropping to 9.3% last month, when job growth began slowing down. The city generated just 900 jobs in September. New York State's unemployment rate in September was 8.7% and the national rate was 7.9%. "We were hoping to see more hiring for seasonal jobs, although that's been happening later and later in the season," said Elena Volovelsky, a labor market analyst at the State Department of Labor. About 54.3% of New Yorkers 16 and older were employed last month, slightly down from 54.4% employed in the same month of last year, the state Labor Department said. "On the positive side, we did see flat numbers in manufacturing, and New York City has been losing jobs there for a long time," Ms. Volovelsky said. "Construction, which doesn't do so well in October, also grew." The number of unemployed New York City residents last month was 367,900. "We're seeing our clients in New York City reaching out for people with strong skill sets, not so much entry level," said Vicki Crowthal, regional vice president of Adecco, a staffing and recruiting agency. "Companies are cautiously hiring."
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