The four-county area saw none of the jobs gains realized in New York state this year, according to a report released Friday by the state Department of Labor.
New York state’s economy gained 83,500 private sector jobs in 2012, according to the report, but Otsego and Delaware counties show a net loss of jobs from November 2011 to November 2012, the period covered in the report.
Chenango County did see jobs growth, at a rate of 1.1 percent — the same rate for Otsego’s losses. Delaware County saw jobs decline at a rate of 0.6 percent.
Overall, the Southern Tier saw losses rather than gains, a fact one spokesperson for the natural gas industry pointed to as evidence of the need for shale drilling in the region.
”The solution to the Southern Tier’s long decline is clear and obvious. Safe natural gas development is the only answer that can provide an immediate and long-term boost to the Southern Tier’s failing job numbers,” New York State Petroleum Council President Karen Moreau said in a statement released Friday. “Without safe natural gas development, the Labor Department’s November numbers unfortunately are unlikely to be the bottom of this long decline of private sector jobs.”
Statewide, the jobs gains were offset by the loss of 29,100 private sector jobs in November that are attributed to Hurricane Sandy.
The numbers are based on monthly surveys of 18,000 New York employers by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Between October and November 2012, New York state’s unemployment rate fell from 8.7 percent to 8.3 percent. County-by-county figures were not released.