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CNY region unemployment rates fall in June, jobs rise

By Eric Reinhardt (


Unemployment rates in the Syracuse,Utica–Rome, Watertown–Fort Drum, Binghamton, and Elmira regions were in mid-single-digit figures in June and were roughly half as high as a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic led to large-scale layoffs.

The numbers were part of the latest New York State Department of Labor data released July 20.

In addition, all the Central New York regions generated more than 5 percent growth in jobs in the last year. That’s according to the latest monthly employment report that the NYS Department of Labor issued July 15.

Regional unemployment rates

The jobless rate in the Syracuse area was 5.4 percent in June, down from 11.6 percent in June 2020.

The Utica–Rome region rate fell to 5.6 percent in June from 10.7 percent a year ago; the Watertown–Fort Drum area’s number was more than halved to 5.1 percent from 10.7 percent; the Binghamton region’s rate plunged to 5.4 percent from 11.4 percent; the Ithaca area’s jobless number was 4.3 percent, down from 9.2 percent; and the unemployment rate in the Elmira region fell sharply to 5.6 percent in June from 12.3 percent a year prior.

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 fell to 7.7 percent in June from 7.8 percent in May and 15 percent in June 2020, according to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor. 

Despite the decline, the 7.7 percent state unemployment rate was higher than the U.S. jobless rate of 5.9 percent, which increased in June. New York’s June rate was tied for the 4th highest in the country with Hawaii and California. Only Nevada, Connecticut, and New Mexico had higher unemployment rates in June.

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.

June jobs data

The Syracuse region gained 16,500 total nonfarm jobs in the past year, a 5.8 percent increase.

The Utica–Rome metro area picked up 6,500 positions, a rise of 5.7 percent; the Watertown–Fort Drum region gained 3,300 jobs, up 8.8 percent; the Binghamton area gained 5,400 jobs, an increase of 6 percent; the Ithaca region picked up 4,100 positions, a rise of 7.6 percent; and the Elmira metro area gained 1,900 jobs in the past year, an increase of 5.8 percent.

New York state as a whole gained nearly 690,000 total nonfarm jobs, an increase of 8.3 percent, in that 12-month period. Private-sector positions in the state rose by almost 671,000, up nearly 10 percent, in the last year.

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