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Our primary source of job growth

Hey, we are adding jobs!

Business First has an interesting chart in its current issue, showing employment by sector in Buffalo Niagara and how it has changed in the past year. I've recreated it here because it doesn't appear to be available on its Web site.

Health care leads the way with 70,300 jobs. No new jobs were added between November 2007 and November 2008.

Business services rank second with 69,900 jobs, but that sector shed 700 jobs during the year.

It could have been worse. The natural resource sector dropped 2,200 jobs, retail 2,100 and durable manufacturing 1,400.

There is one sector that added a lot of jobs, however. Local government, which increased employment by 2,100 jobs, according to Business First calculations.

Yep, that's right. Taxes are high, times are tough and local government is hiring more people. Up to 66,200 jobs, making it the region's third-largest employment sector.

The state, by the way, added 200 jobs, bringing its total to 22,900. Budget deficit? What budget deficit?

Add the federal government, and taxpayers are footing the bill for 103,200 jobs in our region.Or about one government employee for every 10 man, woman and child living in Erie and Niagara counties.

The growth in government employment here is nothing new. As my colleague Matt Spina reported in 2006:

Buffalo Niagara's private-sector job growth this decade has been mediocre, six times worse than the state average. But the region's largest employer -- state government -- grew its work force by nearly 9 percent by adding some 1,700 jobs from July 2000 to July 2006, mainly in higher education.

Keep in mind that local officials, in reaction to Gov. Paterson's proposed cuts in school aid, among other things, have largely demanded something akin to the status quo.


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