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NYS private sector jobs top 8-million in 2017; small increase in Rochester jobs compared to 2016

skyline view
Max Schulte
A skyline view of downtown Rochester.

NYS Labor Department officials say that newly revised data shows that New York State’s economic expansion continued last year, with the annual private sector job count exceeding eight million for the first time.

But the figures also show a small increase in jobs for the Rochester Metro.  In 2017, the number of private sector jobs totaled 455,400. That was up just 900 jobs from the previous year.

Still, State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says that was coming off two very good years for the local job market.

“2015 and 2016 were especially good years here in the Rochester area; employment rose by more than 5,000 in each of those two years. The local job market did continue to expand in 2017, although the job gain was a little more modest,” Marino told WXXI News.

The most recent numbers, for January of this year, shows an increase of 2,800 private sector jobs in the Rochester area compared to a year ago, with much of that increase coming from the education and health sectors. And Marino says construction jobs have been steadily increasing throughout the past seven years.

Marino says the local job market tends to pick up between January and April, particularly as seasonal jobs like construction and recreation pick up.

The metro areas with the strongest private sector job growth in January compared to a year ago included the Albany area, New York City, Dutchess-Putnam, Watertown-Fort Drum, and Buffalo Niagara Falls.

New York State’s unemployment rate stood at 4.7% in January, the same rate that it was in January of 2017. Monthly unemployment numbers for the Rochester area will be released next week.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.