Job growth figures released this week by the New York State Labor Department show a drop in private sector jobs in the Rochester area in March. There were 3,900 fewer jobs in this region last month compared to a year ago.
NYS Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says that was likely due to seasonal factors.
“The job count typically tends to grow about 13,000 every March, this year however, two significant weather-related events in early March, the windstorm that we had and then followed by winter storm Stella disrupted that hiring and as a result, we didn’t have that normal uptick that we would see at this time of year,” she told WXXI News.
Over the last year, Rochester was one of two metro areas in the state to see job losses for the month of March. Elmira was the other.
Marino expects the job count to rise in the coming months.
“Hiring should begin to pick up and return to a much more normal pattern during the coming months. On average, employers tend to hire more than 5,000 new workers during the months of March and April and this is especially true in some of the more seasonal industries like construction, leisure and hospitality.”
In terms of the manufacturing sector, Marino says the Rochester area is still seeing some layoffs.
“Manufacturing employment stabilized considerably in 2014 and 2015, however more recently, the pace of manufacturing layoffs did pick up rather notably in the second half of 2016, and the pace of layoffs have remained somewhat elevated since then.”
Statewide, the unemployment rate in March was 4.3 percent, compared to 4.8 percent a year ago. That is the state’s lowest unemployment rate since February 2007.
The Rochester metro unemployment rate will be released next week.