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CNY jobless rates continue to be lower than a year ago

By Eric Reinhardt (


Continuing the trend of recovery from the year-ago pandemic weakness, unemployment rates in the Syracuse, Utica–Rome, Watertown–Fort Drum, Binghamton, Ithaca, and Elmira regions remained well below year-prior levels in August with each region coming in at under 6 percent.

The figures are part of the latest New York State Department of Labor data released Sept. 21.

Regional unemployment rates

The jobless rate in the Syracuse area fell to 5.4 percent this August from 8.8 percent in the year-ago month.

The Utica–Rome region’s rate declined to 5.5 percent from 8.5 percent; the Watertown–Fort Drum area’s August number was 5.2 percent, down from 8 percent; the Binghamton region posted a 5.4 percent August unemployment rate, down from 8.9 percent; the Ithaca area’s jobless number hit 4.4 percent, down from 6.9 percent; and the unemployment rate in the Elmira region was 5.6 percent in August, well below 9.1 percent in the same month a year ago.

The local-unemployment data isn’t seasonally adjusted, meaning the figures don’t reflect seasonal influences such as holiday hires.

The unemployment rates are calculated following procedures prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state Labor Department said.

State unemployment rate

New York state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent this August, down from 7.6 percent in July and 11.7 percent in August 2020.

New York’s latest jobless rate was higher than the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in August.

The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 state households that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts.ν

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