The jobless picture on Long Island is clearly improving and has been for longer than initially believed, according to state labor experts.
Revised figures show that job growth was larger than reported earlier, with Long Island forging ahead.
“We’re seeing a much better labor market picture than previously thought,” said Shital Patel, an analyst for the state Labor Department in Hicksville.
Long Island had the lowest unemployment rate of the ten regions in New York, at 7.8 percent, unchanged from a year ago, according to Labor Department reports, the latest of which were released Tuesday. By comparison, New York State’s rate was at 9.2 percent while the national rate was 8.8 percent.
In addition, at a time when it was reported to have lost jobs, Long Island added 20,300 private sector jobs in January 2012, up 2 percent from a year ago, according to the Labor Department.
The revisions, conducted annually, were made using were revised using methods set by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Patel said, adding that earlier reports had been based estimates.
Unemployment in the Town of Oyster bay rose in January, to 6.7 percent from 6 percent a month earlier. In January 2011, it was also at 6.7 percent. There were 10,000 residents listed as unemployed in January and 9,000 in December, compared to 10,000 a year ago.
In Nassau County, the unemployment rate was at 7.3 percent in January, up from 6.5 percent in December. It was at 7.3 percent in December 2011. There were 49,200 Nassau County residents listed as unemployed in January, up from 43,900 in December, and 49,300 a year ago.
Big gains included business services, which added 7,200 jobs. There additional gains in trade, transportation and utilities; health services; and manufacturing, which added 900 jobs.
However, in a sign that the Long Island economy is not yet out of the woods, there were job losses. Construction was down by 3,600. Government jobs fell 2,700 over the year.