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Buffalo Niagara posts gain of 4,000 jobs in June

The Buffalo Niagara region added 4,000 jobs in June from a year ago, a 0.7 percent increase that continued the recent pattern of a slowing strengthening employment market that isn’t improving nearly as fast as the rest of the country.

The region’s rate of job growth was lower than the statewide increase of 1.1 percent and the 1.7 percent rise nationwide. Among nine metro areas in the state, Buffalo Niagara’s rate of job growth was fifth-best.

Even so, Buffalo Niagara kept up its trend of steady, modest year-over-year job gains. In private-sector jobs alone, the region recorded a 1.3 percent increase, marking the 39th straight month of year-over-year gains in that category. And in overall jobs since the start of 2011, the region has recorded year-over-year gains in 29 of the 30 months.

The growth varied by job category. Financial activities jobs were unchanged from a year ago, at 32,400, while professional and business services jobs, including temporary positions, rose by 3.1 percent, to 76,700.

Scott R. Stenclik, president and CEO of Superior Talent Resources, said he has seen increased demand in the last several months from area companies wanting to hire workers on either a contract or direct basis. In fact, he said, it is not uncommon for some applicants to have more than one job opportunity to choose from.

“Demand for talent is strong,” he said. And if candidates have the right skills and a good work ethic, they are in a good position to get hired, he added.

Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 2.4 percent from last year, to 59,700.

Manufacturing jobs here declined by 0.9 percent, to 50,900. That was the best total for any month this year, but it was also the lowest total for the sector for June since 2010. Government jobs declined by 2 percent, and construction jobs dropped by 4.2 percent.

Stenclik said demand for workers is coming from multiple categories, including customer service jobs being filled by GEICO and Yahoo, information technology jobs, and leisure and hospitality positions. He noted that a number of hotels are opening in the region, each requiring a good-size workforce.

Stenclik said his firm also sees opportunities emerging at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and at the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences.