Fewer Town of Oyster Bay residents filed for unemployment benefits in December than they did a year ago.
At the same, there are fewer jobs across Long Island.
That’s according to recent Labor Department reports, the latest of which were released Tuesday.
To Shital Patel, an analyst for the Labor Department in Hicksville, the latest reports “suggest a decline in the labor force.” Reasons include discouraged workers who are no longer seeking jobs as well as people retiring or moving out of the region, she said.
The continuing trend, she added, indicates that “we’re in the midst of a recession.”
In TOBAY, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in December, . It was at 6.2 percent in December 2010. There were TOBAY 8,900 residents listed as unemployed in December, down from 9,100 in November, and 9,500 a year ago.
In Nassau County, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in December, up from 6.4 percent in November. It was at 6.6 percent in December 2010. There were 43,900 Nassau County residents listed as unemployed in December, up from 43,300 in November, and 45,200 a year ago.
Meanwhile, the region saw job losses in such sectors as leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, information, and construction. Government employment also took a hit, losing 3,100 jobs.
Sectors adding jobs included health services, professional and business services, financial activities, and trade, transportation and utilities. However, Patel said, the reports did not indicate whether those jobs were high or low-paying jobs.
In Farmingdale, businesses like said they had a busy holiday season with a full staff. Manager Stephen Vaughan said the busiest days were the Saturday before Christmas and Christmas Eve.
Other Long Island retailers also “had a pretty healthy season for the month of December,” adding 3,100 jobs from the prior year –the highest year over year growth since 2000, Patel said.
That growth, Patel said, suggests “confidence for the retailers.”