Job growth slowed in April for the entire Buffalo-Niagara Falls region, but the area still managed to produce 2,400 more jobs, according to figures released Thursday by the state labor department.
Despite the job count growing less than a percent, well below the national average, labor market analyst John Slenker said April was the 19th time in the last 20 months the region saw job growth.
"That's good," Slenker said. "We have a saying here, one month doesn't make a trend. But 19 out of 20 does."
As a whole, the state added 100 private sector jobs, 700 jobs total, during the month of April, the labor department said. The total private sector job count stands at over 7.3 million, which is more than New York had prior to the 2008-09 recession.
For the past 12 months, New York saw an increase of 114,700 total non-farm jobs, 115,900 more private sector jobs or 1.6 percent growth.
"The statistics show New York grew and continues to grow jobs in the private sector and we are seeing that growth reflected in the number of job seekers returning to work," said Bohdan Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.
Although the state's unemployment rate of 8.5 percent remained unchanged from March, the number of unemployed New Yorkers declined by 3,000 from 810,700 in March to 807,700 in April.
In order to have achieved a decline in the unemployment rate from 8.5 percent to 8.4 percent, the number of the unemployed would have required a decrease of 4,500, the labor department reported.
Nationally, unemployment is hovering around 8.1 percent.
Since April 2011, the state saw an increase of 51,400 jobs in professional and business services and 31,100 jobs in educational and health services. Leisure and hospitality is up 16,100 from a year ago.
Statewide, information jobs are down 4,800 from a year ago, construction down 4,600, manufacturing down 1,400 and government down 1,200, all since April 2011.
Locally, manufacturing and construction were up 2,400 jobs and 2,300 jobs respectively, over the past 12 months. Business services are down 2,300 jobs, educational services are down 100 jobs.
It remains to be seen if the change in manufacturing hiring is a trend, Slenker said. The industry has been hit hard for so long, especially in this area.
The positive is any manufacturer that survives would have to be a well run business, Slenker said.
"It's smaller but stronger," he said. "We could see growth and that is very good."
Local employment numbers will be released Tuesday by the state labor department.