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Buffalo Niagara adds 9,900 jobs in July as positive trend continues

The Buffalo Niagara job market is continuing its very positive trend, adding jobs in both the private and public sector.

"Overall, this was a very good jobs report," said John Slenker, the Labor Department's regional economist in Buffalo.

The Buffalo Niagara region gained a total of 9,900 jobs in July, up 1.9 percent from the same month a year ago. It was upstate New York's second biggest increase for the month after Rochester, which added 10,500 total jobs at an increase of 2.1 percent.

The local private sector accounted for 8,000 jobs, up 1.8 percent from last year. Only Rochester had a better upstate showing, gaining 11,200 private sector jobs for an increase of 1.8 percent. Rochester lost 700 government jobs, while the Buffalo Niagara region added 1,900.

It was the third month in a row that job growth in the Buffalo Niagara region was stronger than most of the state's metropolitan areas.

The July increase was the 11th consecutive month of job growth for the two-county region -- a sign the local job market's rebound could be accelerating. The private sector, which excludes government agencies, has grown for 16 straight months.

Local job growth's 1.9 percent rate for July beat both the state and national rates. Jobs increased by 1.3 percent in New York state and by 1.0 percent overall in the nation.

The Buffalo Niagara region's 1.8 percent private sector growth rate matched New York state's and edged out the nation's rate of 1.7 percent.

But there is plenty of room for improvement. The Buffalo Niagara region is still down about 8,700 jobs from July 2008 -- just before the recession began battering the local employment scene. The region had a total of 542,400 jobs in July, up from last year but still lagging behind the same month in 2008 when the region boasted 551,100 jobs.

Job counts were up by 0.6 percent in Allegany County and 3.4 percent in Genesee County, but dropped elsewhere in Western New York. Cattaraugus County was down by 0.3 percent, Chautauqua County dropped by 0.9 percent and Wyoming County was down by 3.7 percent.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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