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New York State Department of Labor

New York State’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.2%, Reaches Lowest Level in More Than Seven Years

State Economy Adds 163,000 Private Sector Jobs Over Past Year

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Albany, NY (September 17, 2015) -

The statewide unemployment rate decreased from 5.4% to 5.2% in August 2015, reaching its lowest rate since May 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. New York City’s unemployment rate also dropped over the month, declining from 5.7% to 5.4%, its lowest level since June 2008.

Between August 2014 and August 2015, New York State’s private sector job count increased by 163,000, or 2.1%. The State’s private sector job count decreased by 16,000, or 0.2%, to 7,810,300 between July and August 2015. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York’s economy has added 700,000 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 48 of the past 56 months.

The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“New York State’s labor market has remained resilient, adding 163,000 private sector jobs over the past year. In addition, New York’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August 2015, reaching its lowest level in more than seven years,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month; for example, August 2014 versus August 2015.

 

U.S. and New York State, July - August 2015

1) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State in July-August 2015.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs,
July 2015 – August 2015
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:

Net
%
Net
%
United States +173,000 +0.1% +140,000 +0.1%
New York State -13,700 -0.1% -16,000 -0.2%

 

2) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In July-August 2015, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 5.4% to 5.2%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers also declined in July-August 2015 – from 518,900 to 501,800, its lowest level since May 2008.


Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  August 2015* July 2015 August 2014
United States 5.1 5.3 6.1
New York State 5.2 5.4 6.0
New York City 5.4 5.7 6.8
NYS, outside NYC 5.1 5.1 5.4

 

U.S., New York State and Metro Areas: August 2014 - August 2015

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table that follows compares the over-the-year change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs that occurred in the United States, New York State and metro areas within the State between August 2014 and August 2015.


Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs,
August 2014 – August 2015
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 
Net
%
Net
%
United States +2,894,000 +2.1% +2,777,000 +2.3%
New York State +162,100 +1.8% +163,000 +2.1%
 
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy +5,500 +1.2% +4,800 +1.4%
    Binghamton -400 -0.4% -400 -0.5%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls +10,300 +1.9% +10,700 +2.3%
    Dutchess-Putnam -200 -0.1% +100 +0.1%
    Elmira +100 +0.3% +300 +0.9%
    Glens Falls +1,100 +1.9% +1,100 +2.2%
    Ithaca +600 +0.9% +900 +1.6%
    Kingston +600 +1.0% +700 +1.5%
    Nassau-Suffolk +20,500 +1.6% +21,500 +1.9%
    New York City +94,000 +2.3% +91,400 +2.6%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester +12,500 +1.8% +13,100 +2.3%
    Rochester +9,600 +1.9% +10,100 +2.3%
    Syracuse 0 0.0% +300 +0.1%
    Utica-Rome +1,200 +0.9% +1,300 +1.3%
    Watertown-Fort Drum -400 -0.9% -600 -1.9%
    Non-metro Counties -600 -0.1% -1,100 -0.3%

 

Job highlights since August 2014:

  • Over the past year, private sector jobs grew most rapidly in these metro areas in New York State:
    • New York City (+2.6%)
    • Buffalo-Niagara Falls (+2.3%)
    • Orange-Rockland-Westchester (+2.3%)
    • Rochester (+2.3%)
    • Glens Falls (+2.2%)
  • Two metro areas in the state – Watertown-Fort Drum (-1.9%) and Binghamton (-0.5%) – lost private sector jobs between August 2014 and August 2015.

Change in jobs by major industry sector, August 2014 – August 2015

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-year change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between August 2014 and August 2015.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector,
August 2014 – August 2015

*Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.
Sectors With Job Gains:
Educational & Health Services* +69,600
Professional & Business Services +29,500
Leisure & Hospitality +19,100
Other Services +18,000
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +17,500
Construction +14,500
 
Sectors With Job Losses:
Manufacturing -2,000
Information -1,800
Financial Activities -1,100
Government* -900
Natural Resources & Mining -300

 

Highlights among NYS sectors with job gains since August 2014:

  • Private educational and health services added the most jobs (+69,600) of any major industry sector over the past year. Sector job gains were mostly in health care and social assistance (+49,300), especially ambulatory health care services (+33,700).
  • Professional and business services had the second largest increase in jobs (+29,500) between August 2014 and August 2015. Over the past year, sector job gains were mostly in professional, scientific and technical services (+18,300) and in administrative and support services (+10,000).
  • The third largest employment increase over the past year was registered in leisure and hospitality (+19,100), with sector gains centered in accommodation and food services (+15,000), especially food services and drinking places (+12,400).

Highlights among NYS sectors with job losses since August 2014:

  • Over the past 12 months, manufacturing lost more jobs (-2,000) than any other major industry sector in the state. Sector losses were focused in non-durable goods (-1,900), especially chemical manufacturing (-1,200).
  • Information had the second largest decrease in jobs (-1,800). Sector losses were focused in motion pictures and sound recording (-2,600).

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits: August 2015

1) Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI):

For New York State, during the week that included August 12, 2015, there were 137,750 people (including 127,024 who live in the State) who received benefits under the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

New York State residents who received Unemployment Insurance benefits made up 25% of the total unemployed in the State in August 2015.

Note: The responsibility for the production of monthly estimates of state and metro area nonfarm employment by industry moved from the Division of Research and Statistics to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), starting with the March 2011 estimates. More detailed information on the change is available on the BLS web site.

Many economic data series have a seasonal pattern, which means they tend to occur at the same time each year (e.g., retail jobs usually increase in December). Seasonal adjustment is the process of removing seasonal effects from a data series. This is done to simplify the data so that they may be more easily interpreted and help to reveal true underlying trends. Seasonal adjustment permits comparisons of data from one month to data from any other month.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments. Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or domestic workers in private households.

 

See State and Area Job Data (opens in new window)
See Labor Market Overview (opens in new window)
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet (opens in new window)

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