Long Island Unemployment Tumbles

The Long Island unemployment rate figures for seasonally unadjusted unemployment tumbled to 5.1 percent in August, plunging 1 percent from a year ago and tying the lowest unemployment rate for the region in that month since 2008.

Long Island Unemployment figures for August were near record lows for the month

Nassau County’s rate decreased by 0.9 percentage points to 4.9 percent, while Suffolk County’s rate decreased by 1.0 percentage point to 5.3 percent.

New York State’s seasonally unadjusted rate was 6.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent, while the national rate fell from 7.3 percent to 6.3 percent.

The number of private sector jobs on Long Island rose 2.1 percent year-over-year to 1.12 million as of August – a new high since 1990 when this data was first compiled.

Long Island Unemployment Numbers Near Record Lows for August

The Long Island unemployment numbers continue to see record levels of new jobs every month. The job growth is pretty broad-based. Construction continues to grow at a strong rate. Healthcare’s another big gainer, as well as some growth in professional and business services.

But even if the basic numbers were good, some said that they only tell part of the story for the local economy, where lower wage positions have driven at least some of the growth.

The Long Island unemployment rate and the labor market have been improving gradually for a long time,” according to John Rizzo, chief economist at the Long Island Association, based in Melville. “But there’s still slack in the labor market.”

Rizzo said underemployment and sluggish wage growth remain issues due to a large pool of unemployed people. With the high levels of unemployment, many people took jobs that didn’t use their full potential.

The Long Island unemployment rate continues to recover from the recession in 2008. And we’ve seen some real strength in the construction sector.

Southampton Town and Huntington Town had the lowest rates in Suffolk at 4.3 percent, while Lindenhurst had the highest, at 6.1 percent.

Rockville Centre Village had the lowest unemployment rate in Nassau at 4.1 percent, while Hempstead Village had the highest, at 6.5 percent.

New York City’s rate was 6.9 percent with roughly 3.8 million employed and 283,800 unemployed, down from 8.8 percent a year ago.

For continuous updates on the Long Island unemployment picture, as well as trends that affect Long Island real estate, check back often with Best Buyer’s Broker Realty here and by following Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook! 

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.

Long Island Construction Jobs Increase

The number of Long Island construction jobs increased 6 percent in July, as compared with a year ago, according to the latest report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

Long Island construction jobs were on the upswing in July.

4,200 New Long Island Construction Jobs

Between July 2013 and July 2014, Nassau and Suffolk counties combined to add about 4,200 Long Island construction jobs, reaching 74,300 people employed in construction – a peak for the year.

Nationwide, construction employment expanded in 223 metro areas, declined in 72 and was stagnant in 44 between July 2013 and July 2014, the AGCA reports. The contracting trade group said that construction firms were so busy that 25 percent reported labor shortages that have been forcing them to turn down work.

“Many construction firms looking to expand their payrolls are finding a surprisingly tight labor market,” Ken Simonson, AGCA’s chief economist said in a statement. “These expanding labor shortages threaten to impact construction schedules as firms struggle to find enough qualified workers.”

Areas seeing the largest increase in construction jobs in the past year include the Dallas area, which added 9,400 jobs, a rise of 8 percent, followed by Houston, which added 8,900 jobs, a 5-percent gain, and Philadelphia, which added 8,500 jobs, a 12-percent rise.

Locally, New York City saw a 2-percent increase in construction employment, adding 3,000 jobs in the last year. Construction employment in the Putnam-Rockland-Westchester area declined by 2 percent, with a loss of about 600 jobs since July 2013.

Other Numbers Related to Long Island Construction Jobs

Numbers that are also tied to Long Island construction jobs is in the sales numbers of new homes. The Commerce Department said this week that new-home sales fell 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. The report also revised up the June sales rate to 422,000 from 406,000.

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo’s index of builder sentiment rose in August to 55, up two points from a revised 53 for July. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as improving.

At the same time, price gains have started to slow and mortgage rates have dropped since the start of 2014. That could eventually help boost sales.

And the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.1 percent this week, the lowest level this year, according to Freddie Mac. At the beginning of the year, the average rate was 4.53 percent.

For continuous updates on Long Island construction jobs, as well as the overall unemployment picture and trends that affect Long Island real estate, check back often with Best Buyer’s Broker Realty here and by following Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook! 

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.

7 Dumb Purchases – Long Island NY Houses Not One of Them

Buying Long Island NY houses is not on the list of the 7 dumbest purchases you could make, but these things that we tend to "treat ourselves to" usually leave us wallowing in regret later on.

Buying Long Island NY Houses Not on This List

If you're considering buying any one of the many Long Island NY houses on the market, psychologists say that's a smart move. They also say there are some impractical things we should step away from before buying and then wishing we hadn't. Some of these items are downright absurd, yet we tend to convince ourselves that we deserve them, or they're important in our lives.

Long Island NY houses are not on the list of dumb things people buy and regret buying later.
1 – 3D TVs

The majority of 3D television owners regret their purchase. It's not that the technology isn't cool. The leading complaint is that there just isn't enough 3D content to make ownership of one of these futuristic devices worthwhile.

When you're coughing up between $2,000 and $12,000 for the TV plus another couple hundred bucks a pop for the glasses, that's sort of a deal breaker. Most people find that it's a major annoyance to wear the glasses that make the third dimension pop. Sort of like wearing your sun glasses in the house.

2 – Whirlpool Tub

Jacuzzi-style whirlpool tubs can be a real mood killer. Not only are they noisy, they're time consuming to fill with water and prone to completely drain your hot water tank. Plus they're expensive to operate, not to mention expensive to buy and install.

Bottom line: Most people don't use them enough to outweigh the negatives.

3 – A Timeshare

The cost of owning a timeshare extends well beyond the mortgage. Annual maintenance fees, property taxes, and special assessments are piled on top — and they can be quite expensive.

Want to sell it after you realize you made a mistake buying it? Timeshares are difficult to unload. Few people are interested in purchasing a timeshare in the aftermarket, meaning you're very likely to lose money even if you do find a buyer.

4. A Car They Didn't Research

A consumer watchdog report found that nearly a third of all motorists regret their most recent car purchase. Among the top triggers of dissatisfaction: The car is faulty, it costs more to run than they anticipated, or they simply didn't do enough research.

A car is one of the most expensive purchases you'll make (2nd to buying any Long Island NY houses). So before pulling the trigger on a flashy sport convertible or a clunker with the little engine that could, experts say it's important to weigh all your options and do your homework.

5. High-End Designer Bags, Clothes, and Shoes

A Gucci handbag can cost more than the down payment on that vehicle you may wish you hadn't bought. Same goes for many designer scarves, furs, and dresses.

Many expensive clothes and accessories end up spending nearly their entire existence in storage. That's because the average person wears only about 20% of the clothes in their closet, according to retail specialists.

Among the top reasons our clothes go unworn? The items no longer seem as unique or important as when first purchased, or we realize it was an impulse buy rather than a smart, practical purchase.

6 – A $5,000 Watch

So you got a big promotion at work. Why not reward yourself with a Rolex? You earned it. Plus, what's more practical than a classic timepiece? "Don't do it!"

Experts and psychologists agree, an expensive watch is probably among the dumbest purchases a person can make (if not THE dumbest). These days, most people don't even wear a watch any more because their phone can tell them the time anyway.

7 – A College Education (No, Really….)

Okay, so most people would say a college degree is a smart investment — but it can certainly be regrettable. A third of millennials say they would have been better off working than going to college, according to a Wells Fargo study. The reason? They're drowning in debt, and because of it, most cannot buy any Long Island NY houses that are for sale even if they wanted to.

More than half the 1,414 college grads surveyed by Wells Fargo said they afforded their education by taking out hefty student loans that have become the crux of their financial distress. Many said they think they'd have been better off with a less expensive, public education than a much more costly degree from a top-tier school.

If given $10,000, more than half of those surveyed said the first thing they would use the money for is to pay off student loans or credit card debt. In 1970, most would say, "put $10,000 down on a home."

So there you have it. Our list of the 7 dumbest purchases people make. And buying Long Island NY houses does not make the list.

Now more than ever, you need to have an agent or broker on your side when looking for Long Island NY houses.

5 Long Island NY Scams to Avoid

Summer means vacations and breaks for most of us, but Long Island NY scams never take a break, and some even get worse during summer months. Here are five Long Island NY scams that are common in the summer and steps you can take to avoid them, rather than opening up your wallet and giving to them.

Long Island NY scams to be on the lookout for during the summer months

Long Island NY Scams To Watch For

Home-Repair Scams. When the weather gets warm, homeowners are more likely to get a knock on the door from someone offering to do repair work at a low price. Usually, they'll claim they've done paving or roofing for someone else in the neighborhood and have extra materials they're willing to unload for cheap. These traveling repairmen typically aren't licensed and do shoddy work. When it comes to home improvement, you should always pick the contractor — don't let them pick you.

Rental Scams. With rental scams, con artists list properties that they don't own on Craigslist or other sites that don't vet posts. Then they take people's money and leave them without a place to stay. If the person listing a rental property will only communicate by e-mail, won't show you the property in advance or asks you to wire money, it's likely a scam.

Travel Scams. There are several travel-related scams, but two of the most common are free cruise and vacation rental scams. Victims of the cruise scam typically are contacted by phone, e-mail or text message and offered a free cruise that actually isn't free. People have to pay a variety of fees to book the cruise and, in the process, have to give up a lot of personal information — which is then sold. If you want to take a cruise, skip the free offers and call your travel agent instead.

Job scams. Long Island NY scams targeting job hunters pop up in the summer when many high school and college students are looking for temporary work. Many revolve around work-at-home jobs that are advertised on signs along the side of the road, in community papers, on Craigslist and on free online job-listing sites. Often the people or companies offering these opportunities will ask job seekers for a lot of personal information, including Social Security numbers, when they apply. Although employers do need this sort of information from new employees, they don't need it during the application process. Too often people are so eager to put themselves in the right light with a prospective employer that they walk right into a trap by providing information that can be used to steal their identities. To guard against job scams, do a search online using the company name or phone number and the word "scam" or "complaint." Also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.

Disaster Relief Scams. If a storm of any variety strikes, there's a good chance con artists will use it as an opportunity to take advantage of people. A variety of scams pop up after most major disasters. For example, after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, fraudulent charities and relief efforts surfaced along with several other cons aimed at taking advantage of disaster victims. If this summer's storm season does result in disasters, don't give to charities that spring up to deal with them. Instead, check out CharityNavigator.org for a list of legitimate organizations that have experience providing disaster relief.

Long Island Job Market Adds 14,000 Jobs

The Long Island job market increased by 14,000 private sector jobs, or a 1.3 percent increase, to 1.08 million in April, putting the local job growth numbers on par with the rest of the state.

The Long Island job market also increased by 23,200 between March and April, nearly twice the typical gain of 12,000, according to statistics from the New York State Department of Labor.

The Long Island Job Market Is Strong

Long Island job market is strong according to the New York Department of Labor“The Long Island job market is strong,” said Shital Patel, a labor market analyst in the Long Island office of the New York State Department of Labor. “We’ve had strong growth over the past several years. We’ve seen sustained growth in the Long Island job market on a year-over-year basis at least since 2011.”

The Long Island job market in the manufacturing sector added 400 jobs, compared to a typical loss of 300 jobs since these statistics have been kept as of 1990.

The construction sector added 5,500 jobs to the Long Island job market since March, compared to its average of 3,400, a sign of a rebound for the construction industry.

New York State’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell by 0.2 percent to 6.7 percent, its lowest level since December 2008, according to preliminary figures released recently by the New York State Department of Labor.

The state’s private sector job count grew by 2,500 in April 2014, the 17th consecutive monthly gain in private sector jobs, increasing the private sector job count to 7,543,000 in the longest streak since 1990, when the state began keeping these records.

Long Island Job Market On Pace With Nation

The Long Island job market is right on pace with the national figures. U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years, evidence that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate sank to 6.3 percent, its lowest level since September 2008, from 6.7 percent in March. But the drop occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell sharply. People aren’t counted as unemployed if they’re not looking for a job.

For continuous updates on the Long Island job market, as well as trends that affect Long Island real estate, check back often with Best Buyer’s Broker Realty here and by following Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook! 

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.