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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nassau County leads the state in job growth

Let’s face it: Any economist could look at Long Island and see a potential fiscal disaster.

Long Island has an aging population, and some of the highest tax rates in the nation. But despite the odds stacked against Nassau and Suffolk counties, they have the fastest-growing economies in the state.

Now, everything isn’t all wine and roses, but things are beginning to take a turn for the better. County Executive Ed Mangano, through the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, has dedicated a lot of hard work to creating jobs here, and making sure those jobs are retainable.

The most recent reports indicate that Long Island added 22,900 private-sector jobs in June, boosting the total number of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties to 1.1 million. The June job growth was 2.1 percent larger than last year. Long Island outpaced the state’s 1.5 percent private-sector growth rate, and narrowly edged out the national rate of 2.0 percent.

Many of the new jobs — just over 10,000 — were added to the leisure and hospitality sector. This represented the largest one-month gain since 1990. In fact, Long Island is currently at an all-time high for employment in the leisure and hospitality fields.

These aren’t just temporary, summertime jobs. In fact, this upswing has been taking place for some time. In April, Long Island’s private-sector jobs grew at a rate of 2.9 percent, the fastest of any area in the state.

And it doesn’t stop there. There were also large gains in the specialty contracting field, which has grown by 11.5 percent for the year. Arts, entertainment and recreation have also grown by 11.8 percent.

This type of outstanding growth should not go unnoticed. During his tenure, Mangano has added approximately 19,000 private-sector jobs. And he’s not afraid to fight other states for the jobs. Recently he went head to head with the state of New Jersey to attract the international headquarters of Hain Celestial, and won. This deal alone will provide 300 permanent jobs, create 15 new construction jobs and generate approximately $605 million in economic activity for Nassau County.

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