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The New York Job Market Today: What You Should Know

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Is New York the apple of your eye? You're not alone. Whether you're in love with the skyscrapers and bustle of NYC, or you crave the quiet beauty of Ithaca, this eastern state has a lot to offer.

To make your dream a reality, you'll need a job. After all, you can't afford to tour the Statue of Liberty or take a weekend trip to the Adirondacks without a healthy bank account.

We'll help you understand what the New York job market looks like. This guide contains information about:

  • Unemployment rates, both statewide and locally
  • Current jobs held by New Yorkers
  • Job sectors with projected growth
  • Hot New York jobs you can get right now

What Does Your Competition Look Like?


You're not the only one looking for a job. Chances are, there are many others who are all hoping to land the perfect position, but some states have lower unemployment numbers than others. Where does New York land?

The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) says the statewide unemployment rate stood at 4% in May 2019. Compare that to 8.4% in May 2012, and you'll see why officials are celebrating.

New York was hit hard by the financial crash in the early 2010s, and it's taken quite some time for the state to recover. Today, some parts of the state are doing better than others.

DOL keeps records per metro area, and May 2019 rates vary widely from city to city:

  • Albany, Schenectady & Troy: 3.2%
  • Binghamton: 3.9%
  • Buffalo & Niagara Falls: 3.8%
  • Dutchess & Putnam: 3.2%
  • Elmira: 3.8%
  • Glens Falls: 3.6%
  • Ithaca: 3.2%
  • Kingston: 3.3%
  • Nassau & Suffolk: 3.2%
  • New York City: 4.2%
  • Orange, Rockland & Westchester: 3.4%
  • Rochester: 3.6%
  • Syracuse: 3.7%
  • Utica & Rome: 3.9%
  • Watertown & Fort Drum: 4.5%

Additionally, some counties have remarkably low unemployment rates. Columbia County, for example, has a 2.8% rate to boast about.

You may also see variations among upper and lower portions of the state, says the New York Herald. The New York City area has the most new jobs added, analysts say, but it's also the main area people choose to move to when they're considering moving to the state.

There are a lot of numbers here, and they can be a little intimidating. The short answer is that unemployment rates range from under 3% to close to 5%.

If those figures are better than those in your home state, this could be good news, but if the numbers are worse, you may face more competition than you're accustomed to.

Where Do New Yorkers Work Now?


New York has a relatively robust workforce, and there are jobs in almost every industry you can think of. Some job sectors tend to hold the most interest for people living in this state, and they represent the largest fields of opportunity for job hunters.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on jobs per sector in New York. This data from May 2019 can help you understand where people work:

  • Construction: 404,000 jobs. Work in this field, and you'll help create houses, office buildings, restaurants, and more. Tackle a trade job, such as becoming an electrician, or put a higher degree to work in an advanced position, like being an engineer.

  • Manufacturing: 442,500 jobs. Work on an assembly line, connect with an artisan shop, or work for yourself. These jobs involve making goods for others.

  • Trade, transportation, and utilities: 1,574,500 jobs. New York is a port state, and it has a long trade history. In these positions, you'll help goods move in or out of the country, ensure that the street lights are working, and maintain roadways.

  • Information: 274,600 jobs. Program computers, create websites, write manifestos, and be responsible for other work in this industry.

  • Finance: 719,600 jobs. Wall Street jobs fall under this heading, as do positions in banks and credit unions.

  • Professional and business services: 1,347,200 jobs. Office space is plentiful in New York, and workers need to fill those spots. The work is varied, as you could tackle almost any job in an environment like this.

  • Education and health services: 2,120,400 jobs. This is one of the largest work sectors in New York. Teach the next generation, or help the current one to stay healthy.

  • Leisure and hospitality: 967,100 jobs. Tourists flock to New York on a daily basis, and it's not uncommon for residents to spend their evenings out on the town. Jobs in this sector keep those dollars flowing.
  • Government: 1,492,300 jobs. This is another strong sector in New York, and it's not surprising. It takes many people to keep the state running, and jobs in this sector make that happen.

What Job Sectors Are Growing

You know where people in New York work right now, but what job sectors show promise for the future? This data is important to understand if you're hoping to spot a job within the next year or two.

According to DOL, these job sectors show the fastest growth rates:

  • Education and health services: More than 56,000 jobs were added between 2018 and 2019. That's the biggest jump seen in that time period. Most gains were in health care, particularly ambulatory health care.

  • Trade, transportation, and utilities: Close to 10,000 jobs were added. The majority of these leaps were in food and beverage stores, as well as health care shops.

  • Government: More than 8,000 jobs were added, and most were tacked onto local government positions.

The biggest losses were reported to be among the financial sector. More than 1,000 jobs disappeared between 2018 and 2019, DOL says. Most of those positions were in real estate.

What Jobs Can You Get Right Now?


Reading about the future is interesting, and sometimes, it's a little bit fun, but if you're looking for a job with an immediate start date, you need slightly different data.

DOL amasses data about current job openings. These are a few hot jobs open right now in New York:

  • Bartender
  • Bookkeeper
  • Cashier
  • Cement Mason
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Heating, Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Lawyer
  • Medical Assistant
  • Personal Care Aide
  • Retail Salesperson
  • Security Guard

This is an extremely diverse list, with different salary ranges to expect. Some positions include tips too, and those can change how much you take home each week to feed your family.

Looking for more information on any of these positions? We can help.

At Joblist, we collect job postings from companies in New York and all across the country, making it easy for you to do research in order to make a smart decision about your career. There are no fees and no risks.

Get started now, and then get packing. New York awaits!


Bureau of Labor New York Annual Statistics. United States Bureau of Labor.

State Labor Department Releases Preliminary May 2019 Area Unemployment Rates. (June 2019). New York State Department of Labor.

New York's Job Growth: A Tale of Two States. (December 2018). Democrat and Chronicle.

Economy at a Glance: New York. (June 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NYS Economy Added 87,400 Private Sector Jobs Over the Past Year. (June 2019). New York State Department of Labor.

Jobs in Demand Today. New York State Department of Labor.

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