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Where the jobs are: Health care solid, hospitality strong, nanotech horizon

Julie Wells, 43, of Mohawk, was looking for a career where she would be able to find a job, have benefits and enough income to support her family.

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Julie Wells, 43, of Mohawk, was looking for a career where she would be able to find a job, have benefits and enough income to support her family.

She decided to go into health care, a field she has worked in for 23 years. Wells is a nurse manager of maternal child services at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare.

“I knew in nursing I would always be able to find a job,” Wells said. “I think there are still opportunities in health care. In some fields it’s very difficult, if this is where you want to live, for jobs.”

Wells is right on target.

In the Utica-Rome area, other than government jobs, health care is at the top of the list. Manufacturing, and hospitality and entertainment, also employ large numbers of workers, said Dave Mathis, director for Oneida County Workforce Development.

These major industries don’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Businesses in health care industries, for example, employed 22,205 workers in the Utica-Rome area in 2011, a number that increased 113 from 2010, according to data from Mark Barbano, state Labor Department regional analyst.

And the prediction is health care will continue to grow as the population ages.

Jobs have been a major issue across the nation, with the unemployment rate standing at 8.5 percent. In the Mohawk Valley, unemployment rates and industries have not seen drastic changes.

“This area has been kind of interesting because we never get to the big highs in terms of jobs, or big lows,” Mathis said. “We get along steadily.”

The annual average unemployment rate in the Utica-Rome area was 7.9 percent in 2010 and remained the same in 2011, compared to 8.6 percent statewide in 2010 and 8 percent in 2011, according to state Department of Labor data.

Total jobs in all area industries decreased 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2011 during the January through June time period, according to the data. It was down mainly due to a decrease in federal jobs because many temporary workers were hired for the census, Barbano said.

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posted in: National, news, Employer News, New York
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