Buffalo job market improves with national growth

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Signs are showing 2014 was a positive year for those seeking a job both nationwide and locally.

Positive growth has inspired employers to cut less and hire more workers than they have in a long time. Nationally, employers have hired more employees than they have since 1999. December saw nearly 252,000 jobs added to a growing market. That growth was also reflected in the months preceding December.

So many jobs being pumped into the market has dropped the unemployment rate from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since America’s economy sneezed and the world caught its cold.

But the national growth has also translated to a more positive Buffalo job market. Companies are flocking to the growing rust belt city. BAK, a tablet company, just made Buffalo its world headquarters, and 11 companies just agreed to become part of a program which offers tax incentives to businesses which will build or expand in Buffalo.

“It bodes well. We have the highest number of private sector jobs since the year 2000,” Howard Zemsky, Governor’s nominee for commissioner of economic development, said. “We’ve had strong job growth across all the sectors of the economy. And the Buffalo Billion projects haven’t really kicked in on the employment front.”

In the Buffalo, Niagara Falls area, unemployment dropped from 6.5 percent to 5.7 percent in the course of 2014, and Zemsky says that number could continue to drop.

But the growth, while positive, does hold a caveat; pay isn’t raising with the increased employment. Over two months the hourly pay in western New York rose $.01, much smaller than the rate of inflation.

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