Albany private sector jobs remain at record-high levels

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The Albany, New York, metropolitan area remains at a record-high for private-sector jobs.

The private-sector job count for March is even higher than what was reported Thursday by the state Labor Department, said state analyst Jim Ross.

The Labor Department report shows Albany gained 200 private-sector jobs from March 2015 to March 2016. Data collection problems in the education and professional services industries are making that overall job count appear much smaller than it really is, Ross said. The professional services industry include engineers and legal services jobs as well as those involved in research and development.

He figures the region gained closer to 1,700 jobs over the past year, which would make Albany one of strongest upstate areas for private-sector job growth.

“The area is still doing well,” Ross said.

There has been a decrease of about 200 construction jobs. That decrease most likely occurred after GlobalFoundries completed much of the work on its $15 billion computer chip plant in Saratoga County. A large number of subcontractors were still on the job at this time last year.

That industry still appears to be on track for a strong 2016, Ross said. Crews are busy building the new $66.5 million convention center in downtown Albany. And the construction of the new $480 million Rivers Casino and Mohawk Harbor development in Schenectady is also creating a lot of jobs.

The Buffalo region added the most private-sector jobs among upstate metro areas over the past year with 2,600. The Dutchess and Putnam county area was second with 2,200 jobs. The next strongest upstate markets were Kingston and Albany, which added 1,700 jobs when factoring in the adjustment to account for data reporting problems, Ross said.

Albany’s leisure and hospitality industry added 1,500 jobs from March 2015 to March 2016. Manufacturers added 800 jobs, growing to 25,500 jobs.

This article was originally published at the Albany Business Review.