The Westchester-Rockland-Orange county region added 11,900 private sector jobs in January 2016, an increase of 2.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by the New York State Department of Labor.
The 2.1 percent growth is the fourth most among the state’s 16 labor market regions. Kingston and Watertown-Fort Drum both posted gains of 3.8 percent in private job growth, the highest in the state. New York City was third, with an increase of 3 percent in private sector jobs in January 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
New York State added 114,000 private sector jobs overall from January 2015 to January 2016, an increase of 1.5 percent.
John Nelson, Hudson Valley labor analyst for the state Department of Labor, said Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley region has seen consistent, “broad-based” growth across most industries, both in January and throughout 2015. There has been particular growth, he said, in the construction, education and health care and professional and business services industries. The construction industry saw record job growth between January 2015 and January 2016, Nelson said, with an increase of 22 percent.
“With the construction industry, it can seem like every week there is a new project,” Nelson said, citing the $130 million Rivertowns Square project in Dobbs Ferry and the $250 million residential and retail project at 55 Bank St. in White Plains.
The state unemployment rate dropped from 5 percent in December 2015 to 4.9 percent in January 2016, making it even with the national rate. The state unemployment rate is now at pre-recession levels, according to the report.
The report calculates private sector job count based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data is subject to revision the following month.