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New York State Department of Labor

New York State Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.4% in February; Lowest Since 2007

Economy Adds 12,300 Jobs and Reaches New All-Time High Job Count

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Albany, NY (March 23, 2017) -

In February 2017, New York State’s private sector job count increased by 12,300, or 0.2%, to 8,045,400, a new all-time record high, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. Since the end of the State’s recession in late 2009, New York has added more than one million private sector jobs. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 951,300 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 63 of the past 74 months.

In February 2017, New York’s statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.6% to 4.4%, its lowest level since April 2007. Pushing the statewide rate lower was a steep drop in the New York City rate, which declined from 4.5% to 4.3%, its lowest level on records going back to 1976.

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 State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“The State’s labor market continued to expand in February 2017. Private sector employers in the state added 12,300 jobs, while our statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.6% to 4.4% in February, which reflects the continued growth of the state’s economy,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s 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, February 2016 versus February 2017.

 

United States and New York State: January – February 2017

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 January – February 2017.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
January – February 2017
 Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

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

Net
%
Net
%
United States +235,000 +0.2% +227,000 +0.2%
New York State +12,400 +0.1% +12,300 +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 (CPS). The CPS contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In February 2017, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.6% to 4.4%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased from 435,700 in January to 424,100 in February 2017.


Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 February 2017*January 2017February 2016
United States 4.7 4.8 4.9
New York State 4.4 4.6 4.9
New York City 4.3 4.5 5.3
NYS, outside NYC 4.6 4.6 4.5

 

U.S., New York State and Metro Areas: February 2016 – February 2017

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The following table 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 February 2016 and February 2017.


Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
February 2016 – February 2017
 Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 
Net
%
Net
%
United States +2,352,000 +1.7% +2,144,000 +1.8%
New York State +130,900 +1.4% +121,100 +1.6%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy +7,200 +1.6% +5,800 +1.6%
    Binghamton +500 +0.5% +300 +0.4%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls +7,000 +1.3% +5,400 +1.2%
    Dutchess-Putnam -200 -0.1% -200 -0.2%
    Elmira -600 -1.6% -600 -2.0%
    Glens Falls +1,500 +2.9% +900 +2.1%
    Ithaca +1,600 +2.5% +1,700 +3.1%
    Kingston +600 +1.0% +500 +1.1%
    Nassau-Suffolk +30,600 +2.4% +27,100 +2.5%
    New York City +63,600 +1.5% +62,000 +1.7%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester +7,900 +1.1% +6,500 +1.1%
    Rochester -1,400 -0.3% -1,200 -0.3%
    Syracuse +3,700 +1.2% +3,000 +1.2%
    Utica-Rome +900 +0.7% +1,000 +1.1%
    Watertown-Fort Drum +700 +1.7% +800 +2.8%
    Non-metro Counties +2,600 +0.5% +3,400 +0.9%

 

Job highlights since February 2016:

  • Twelve metro areas in New York State added private sector jobs over the past year, with the most rapid growth in these areas:
    • Ithaca (+3.1%)
    • Watertown-Fort Drum (+2.8%)
    • Nassau-Suffolk (+2.5%)
    • Glens Falls(+2.1%)
    • New York City (+1.7%)
    • Albany-Schenectady-Troy (+1.6%)
  • Over the past year, three metro areas in the state – Elmira (-2.0%), Rochester (-0.3%) and Dutchess-Putnam (-0.2%) – lost private sector jobs.

Change in jobs by major industry sector: February 2016 – February 2017

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 February 2016 and February 2017.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector
February 2016 – February 2017

*Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.
Sectors With Job Gains:
Educational & Health Services* +66,700
Professional & Business Services +42,100
Government* +9,800
Leisure & Hospitality +8,900
Information +4,800
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +4,700
Other Services +4,300
Construction +800
Financial Activities +800
 
Sectors With Job Losses:
Manufacturing -12,000

 

Highlights among New York State sectors with job gains since February 2016:

  • Private educational and health services added the most jobs (+66,700) of any major industry sector over the past year. Sector job gains were mostly in health care and social assistance (+67,100), especially ambulatory health care (+30,300).
  • From February 2016 to February 2017, the second largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services (+42,100). Sector gains were centered in professional, scientific and technical services (+22,200) and administrative and support services (+19,300).
  • The third largest increase in jobs over the past year occurred in government, which grew by 9,800. Over-the-year job gains in this sector were centered in local (+5,300) and state (+2,600).
  • Leisure and hospitality had the fourth largest increase in jobs (+8,900) between February 2016 and February 2017. Over-the-year sector job gains were mostly in accommodation and food services (+16,400), especially food services and drinking places (+13,600).

Highlights among New York State sectors with job losses since February 2016:

  • Over the past 12 months, manufacturing lost the most jobs (-12,000) of any major industry sector in New York. Over-the-year sector losses were concentrated in durable goods (-10,700), especially computers and electronic products (-2,600) and machinery manufacturing (-1,100).

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits: February 2017

1) Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI):

For New York State, during the week that included February 12, 2017, there were 155,323 people (including 142,728 who live in the State) who received benefits under the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

In February 2017, New York State residents who received Unemployment Insurance benefits made up 34% of the total unemployed.

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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