Economists: LI has 'pay paralysis' despite strong job market – New York News

The Long Island job market is a study in contrasts between strong employment data and weak wage growth.


For the past three years it’s reached a record number of jobs, and for the past three months the Long Island market has been considered to be at full employment, with a jobless rate of 4 percent or less.

The Island had 1.36 million jobs in May, the highest number for that month since the state Labor Department began using its current methodology in 1990. May’s unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.

A job market that tight typically translates into significant wage increases for workers as employers have to pay more to attract and retain employees, local economists said.

However, wage increases on Long Island, when adjusted for inflation, averaged a mere 2.6 percent per year between 2012 and 2017, a Newsday analysis of state Labor Department data shows.

That mirrors what is happening nationwide: The June national employment report released this month showed average hourly earnings rose 2.5 percent in the past year.

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