Republican Senate leader calls Democratic Conference job killers

New York State’s private sector job count increased 1.3 percent or by about 104,000 jobs between January 2018 and January 2019, the state Department of Labor said Thursday.

According to revised data from the U.S. Department of Labor, New York had a record-high 8,181,000 private sector jobs in January while the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in 2018, its lowest annual rate on record. Jobs data are revised at the end of each year for all states and the nation as more complete information becomes available from employers’ Unemployment Insurance records. This process is called “benchmarking” and is federally mandated.

Last year also marked the state’s ninth consecutive year of job growth. From 2009 to 2018, the state’s economy added a total of more than 1.16 million private sector jobs.

New York's top Democrat and its highest-ranking Republican were voicing sharply different messages on the condition of the state's economy Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted the Department of Labor report, calling the jobs numbers “historic” and strong evidence that his administration’s regionally-based economic plan is working.

"These numbers are proof positive of the success of our long-term strategy of boosting economic progress across every corner of the state rather than in just a few regions, as has been the case in decades past,” Cuomo, a Democrat who began his third-term in January, said. “This success is bolstered by the strength of bottom-up, regionally focused economic development and transformative investments in infrastructure and new and emerging industries to support generations of future economic growth.”

In the New York State Senate, Republicans complained that Democrats are job killers, not job creators. The Democratic-controlled Senate Thursday rejected Republican amendments to create a $495 million income tax exemption for small businesses and farmers, and to launch a STAR program for small businesses, achieving another $275 million in savings.

“Senate Republicans recognize that New Yorkers want lower taxes and economic prosperity, and we will continue to raise our voices and fight when the Senate Democratic Majority ignores the concerns of middle-class taxpayers who just want a good job, a steady paycheck, and the chance to comfortably raise their families here,” Minority Leader John J. Flanagan said.

The state’s monthly jobless rate was unchanged from December to January at 3.9 percent. In January 2018, the state unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. New York City’s unemployment rate increased from 4 percent in December 2018 to 4.1 percent in January 2019. Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate was also unchanged at 3.8 percent, since December 2018. The national unemployment rate was 4 percent in January.

On the private sector job front, the Department of Labor said non-metro counties in New York added 2,300 private sector jobs over the past year.

In Steuben County, the private jobs sector increased by 500 positions from January 2018 to January 2019 for a total of 29,500 in Thursday’s labor department report. The 1.7 percent increase includes a gain of 100 jobs in the goods-producing category, 100 in manufacturing and 400 in service-providing. Education and health services fell by 100 positions over the 12 months, according to the state.

In Allegany County, the private sector job count fell by 500 positions or 4.9 percent between January 2018 to January 2019, coming in at 9,800, the labor department reported. The private service-providing sector of the county was hardest hit, decreasing from 8,200 jobs in January 2018 to 7,800 in January 2019.

January’s unemployment rates for local counties will be released on Tuesday.