Chautauqua County employers are far from fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, though recently released jobs numbers show a partial recovery.
According to state Department of Labor data, total non-farm employment has increased from 40,000 in April 2020 to 44,700 in April 2021. Private sector employment is leading those gains, with all 4,700 jobs gained over the last year coming from that jobs category. Service-providing jobs have added 3,700 jobs since last April’s shutdown with 2,200 of those jobs coming in the leisure and hospitality industry. Leisure and hospitality employment has doubled from April 2020 to April 2021 to 4,400 jobs. Goods producing businesses have added 1,000 jobs over the last year while manufacturing added 500 positions over the past year.
While that is an improvement year-over-year, comparing the April jobs breakdown to the March 2020 numbers show the county still has a ways to go. Non-farm jobs in March 2020 totaled 49,300 in Chautauqua County, which means the county has still lost 4,600 jobs At the same time, the county’s labor force has decreased from March 2020 to March 2021 by 1,500 people, the number of employed county residents has decreased from 50,000 in March 2020 to 47,900 in March 2021.
Leisure and hospitality jobs totaled 5,400 in March 2020. Despite despite the gains made over the past 13 months, the leisure and hospitality industry still has 1,700 fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic’s shutdowns began. Manufacturing has added jobs over the past year, but has still not reached its pre-pandemic levels. The county had 8,800 manufacturing jobs in March 2020, with that number dropping to 7,500 in April 2020. The April 2021 total of 8,000 is a gain year-over-year, but is still 800 fewer than the county had before the pandemic began.