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CNY jobless rates fall in last year, job growth mixed

By Eric Reinhardt


Unemployment rates in the Syracuse, Binghamton, Utica–Rome, and Ithaca metro areas declined in April, compared to the same month in 2013.

That’s according to the latest New York State Department of Labor data released May 20.

The jobless rate in the Syracuse area was 5.8 percent in April, down from the 7.5 percent rate in April 2013. The unemployment rate in the Utica–Rome region was 6.1 percent in April, down from 8.1 percent in the year-ago period.

The unemployment rate in the Binghamton region was 6.1 percent in April, an improvement from the 7.7 percent posted a year ago, according to figures from the state Labor Department.

The jobless rate in the Ithaca area came in at 3.5 percent in April, down from 4.6 percent in April 2013.

The data isn’t seasonally adjusted, meaning the figures don’t reflect seasonal influences such as holiday hires, the state Labor Department said.

The New York counties among those with the highest unemployment rates in April include Hamilton at 8.8, Lewis at 8.7, and Jefferson at 8.2 percent. Bronx County had the state’s highest jobless rate in April at 10.3 percent. 

At 3.5 percent, Tompkins County posted the lowest unemployment rate in New York during April, the state Labor Department said.

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

CNY regional data
The Syracuse metro area lost 900 total jobs between April 2013 and this past April, a decrease of 0.3 percent, according to the state data the department released on May 15.

The region lost 1,000 private-sector jobs in the same period, also a decline of 0.4 percent.

The Ithaca region lost 600 total jobs year-over-year, a decrease of 0.8 percent. Ithaca’s private sector lost 600 jobs between April 2013 and April 2014, a decline of 1.6 percent.

In the Utica–Rome metro area, the state figures indicate a year-over-year net gain of 500 total jobs, or 0.4 percent. The region also added 600 private-sector jobs, a 0.6 percent increase, in the same 12-month period.

The Binghamton area saw a year-over-year net decline of 600 total jobs, or a 0.6 percent decrease. In the same time period, the region’s private-sector employers lost 300 jobs between April 2013 and this past April, a decline of 0.4 percent.

The state’s private-sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers that the U.S. Department of Labor conducts, the state Labor Department said.

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.

Statewide unemployment
New York’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent to 6.7 percent in April, its lowest level since December 2008.

That’s according to preliminary figures the department released May 15.

The state’s economy added 1,600 total jobs between March and April and the state’s private-sector job count rose by 2,500 month-to-month.

New York’s private-sector job count held steady at 7,543,000 in April, a figure that represents “an all-time high,” the state Labor Department said.

April represented New York’s 17th consecutive monthly gain in private-sector jobs, the longest since at least 1990, as far back as records go, the department said.

The preliminary April unemployment rate of 6.7 percent for New York is down from the 7.8 percent rate in April 2013.

In areas of the state outside of New York City, which includes all of Upstate and Long Island, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent in April, down from 7.1 percent in April 2013, according to the department’s data.

Educational and health services added the most jobs statewide, more than 32,000, over the last year. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector was second, adding more than 22,000 jobs.

Comments from Robert Half International
The job growth in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector “is really starting to take off,” says Robert Nealon, regional vice president with Robert Half International, Inc. (RHI) who oversees RHI’s four upstate New York offices, including the branch in Syracuse.

“Almost one-third of that growth in the trade and transportation and utility industry has been in the past six months,” Nealon says.

Nealon is based in Massachusetts and spoke with the Business Journal News Network from Buffalo on May 20.

Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI) is a Menlo Park, Calif.–based firm that specializes in the placement of skilled administrative professionals. It operates a Syracuse location at 500 Plum St.

Nealon believes firms are looking for talent with accounting skills, so staff and senior-level accountants are “very in demand right now.”

Other firms are focusing on their Internet presence, so web developers are also in “high demand” as well, he says.

“Expanding their footprint on the web and making the functionality for their customer base a lot easier,” Nealon adds.

Positions in the professional and business-services sector were third on the list, adding nearly 20,000 jobs.

The leisure and hospitality sector followed, adding 15,000 jobs.

The manufacturing sector led the way in job losses in April, declining by nearly 6,000 in the last year, according to the state Labor Department.      

Contact Reinhardt at

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