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Local jobs grow at a modest 0.4 percent annual pace in January

Hiring by stores and construction firms helped the Buffalo Niagara region add 2,200 jobs over the past year, the state Labor Department said Thursday.

The job growth, which ran at a 0.4 percent annual pace, was the strongest in four months, and a turnaround from the small loss in jobs that occurred during December, according to newly revised employment data released by the state.

Hiring was strong at local hospitals and stores, as well as in the construction sector, with each growing by more than 2.5 percent over the past year. That offset a 10 percent drop in jobs within a category that includes temporary help agencies and weakness in the professional, scientific and technical sector.

The pace of job growth locally tied with Albany for 9th-fastest among the state’s 14 major metro areas. Only Binghamton, Dutchess-Putnam counties, Elmira, Rochester and Syracuse had slower job growth during January.