ALBANY — Private sector jobs increased modestly by 3,700 statewide to 8 million jobs in October, according to a new report released by the New York State Department of Labor.
The state’s private sector jobs, not seasonally adjusted, increased by 306,400 year over year in October, an increase of 3.9 %.
The Capital Region has gained 9,900 jobs over the past 12 months, a figure that Kevin Alexander of the Department of Labor (DOL) categorized as solid for pre-pandemic levels.
“It’s almost twofold – things are slowly but surely coming back from the pandemic, but on the other side, it’s looking a lot like it did before the pandemic in 2019, where we’re coming off some solid or large job growth in the year preceding in the late 2010s,” Alexander said of the Capital Region job market. “Prior to the pandemic in 2019, job growth pretty much started to stall there in 2019 and we didn’t see much year-over-year job growth in the Capital Region.”
As of September, there were 429,200 private sector jobs and 543,000 non-farm (private and government) jobs in the Capital Region.
Alexander, who serves as the department’s Capital Region Market Analyst, said the local job market has room to expand.
“There’s of course room to grow,” he said. “We still haven’t recovered from the job losses that occurred throughout 2020. So there’s room to grow in that regard and when you’re looking at the job vacancies throughout the region, the postings haven’t slowed down at all. Every single industry and businesses throughout the region are still looking to fill their workforces to meet their business activity demands.”
The state unemployment rate currently sits at 3.9 %, with the Capital Region outpacing the statewide numbers with a 2.7 % unemployment rate.
“Historically, at least for the past handful of years now, the counties and localities in the Capital Region had some of the lowest unemployment rates throughout the state,” Alexander said. “A lot of the larger sectors here maintain steady employment which kind of drives the unemployment rate down. A declining labor force is also going to bring the unemployment rate down.”
The DOL analyst said that with the holiday shopping season set to begin in earnest on Black Friday, job numbers locally should be boosted with an influx of short-term retail jobs.
“We do typically see some seasonal increases for this time of year with the shopping season on both the retail side as well as the transportation and warehouse and delivery jobs as well,” Alexander said. “That’s a sector in the last couple of years that really hasn’t seen any kind of drop-off. It’s been growing faster than any other industry.”