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Slow and steady job growth in April

Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to job growth in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

The region had 3,100 more jobs in April that it did 12 months ago, according to figures released by the New York State Department of Labor Thursday. It’s an increase of 0.6 percent over last year, the same annual growth rate recorded the previous month.

The private sector added 2,200 jobs locally for an increase of 0.5 percent.

“The area has had this steady growth pattern since the end of the recession, particularly in the service providing sectors,” said John Slenker, the Labor Department’s regional economist in Buffalo.

New York State as a whole had 13,300 more jobs in April compared to last year, to reach a record high of 7,905,500. Jobs grew fastest in the Waterton-Fort Drum region, which was up 3.1 percent; New York City was up 2.6 percent; Orange-Rockland-Westchester, up 2.5; Kingston, up 2.4 percent and Glens Falls, up 1.9 percent.

Five regions lost private sector jobs: Elmira, which was down 1.2 percent; Ithaca, down 0.8 percent; Binghamton, down 0.4 percent; Rochester, down 0.4 percent and Albany-Schenectady-Troy, down 0.2 percent.

Of those regions that gained jobs, Buffalo-Niagara grew at the slowest pace, even though it added more jobs than any upstate region outside of New York City, Nassau-Suffolk and Orange-Rockland-Westchester.

Across the state, educational and health services saw the biggest job gains, adding 42,500; followed by leisure and hospitality, which added 16,000 jobs; professional and business services, which added 13,900 and construction, which added 11,400.

Manufacturing lost the most jobs over the past year, the data for last month shows. It bled 1,600 jobs, mostly in fabricated metal products and durable goods.

Statewide last month, 133,775 people collected unemployment insurance benefits. That’s about 26 percent of the state’s unemployed population.

Total job growth for the country grew at a rate of 1.9 percent, adding 2.66 million jobs.