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State Labor Department adjusts Syracuse job-loss data from 2014

The Syracuse region during the second half of 2014 led the state’s metro areas with year-over-year job losses, mostly caused by reported declines in educational-services jobs.

The figures date back to at least June 2014, according to data from the New York State Department of Labor.

However, in the department’s latest report on Thursday, the Syracuse region gained 2,400 total jobs between January 2014 and this past January, an increase of 0.8 percent.


A review of the data painted a different picture of the year-over-year job-losses in the Syracuse area data during 2014.

The U.S. Department of Labor mandates the state Labor Department to “benchmark” its numbers at year’s end, “based on more complete data that we have available,” says Karen Knapik-Scalzo, labor-market analyst for the state Labor Department in Syracuse.

She spoke with CNYBJ on Thursday afternoon.

The department noticed some changes in some key industry sectors, including educational services, she adds.

Educational services is a “large industry locally” with more 21,000 people employed in the sector, so that “can make it a little bit difficult to estimate sometimes.” says Karen Knapik-Scalzo.

The department’s estimates showed significant declines in jobs in the educational-services sector last year, despite there not being any announcements by area educational institutions of large layoffs.

“When we looked at the complete data … instead of seeing some of those sharper job declines, it actually evened out. We weren’t seeing declines in the educational-services sector,” says Knapik-Scalzo.

And that turned Syracuse’s overall job losses into gains.

Besides the job gains in the Syracuse region, most areas of Central New York added jobs between January 2014 and this past January.

The Watertown–Fort Drum region was the lone exception, having lost a net 100 jobs, a decline of 0.2 percent.

The Utica–Rome area gained 1,200 jobs in the same 12-month period, a 1 percent rise.

The Binghamton region added 1,000 jobs in the same 12-month time span, an increase of 1 percent, according to the state Labor Department data.

The Ithaca region gained 1,400 jobs between January 2014 and this January, a rise of 2.1 percent, the department said.

New York state as a whole added 156,800 jobs, an increase of 1.8 percent, in the last year. The state economy gained 10,000 jobs between December and January, according to the report.


Private-sector jobs

The Syracuse region gained 2,400 private-sector jobs between January 2014 and this past January, an increase of 0.9 percent. The Utica–Rome area added 1,300 private-sector positions, up 1.4 percent.

The Binghamton region gained 600 private-sector jobs, an increase of 0.8 percent, in the last year, according to the report.

The Ithaca area added 1,800 private-sector positions between January 2014 and this past January, up 3.2 percent.

The Watertown-Fort Drum region lost 200 private-sector jobs, a decline of 0.7 percent.

New York state’s economy added more than 150,000 private-sector jobs, a 2 percent gain, in the last 12 months, with most of those positions located Downstate.

The state also gained more than 16,000 private-sector jobs, a 0.2 percent increase, in the last month, the state Labor Department reported.

The state’s private-sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York state employers that the U.S. Department of Labor conducts.

New York state’s unemployment remained unchanged at 5.8 percent in January, its lowest level since September 2008. The January figure is also down from 6.8 percent in January 2014, according to state Labor Department figures.

The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 state households that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts.


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