Labor Seal NYS Department of Labor                          

Contact Leo Rosales Cell: 518-281-6167 Office: 518-457-5519 Email: leo.rosales@labor.ny.gov www.labor.ny.gov
State's Unemployment Rate Reaches 16-Year High in May
Number of Unemployed in New York Jumps to More Than 800,000 - Highest in 33 Years

Albany, NY (June 18, 2009) - New York State's seasonally adjusted private sector job count decreased over the month by 20,400, or 0.3 percent, to 7,102,000 in May 2009, the State Labor Department reported today. The state's private sector job count has now dropped for nine consecutive months. Since the state's private sector job count peaked in August 2008, New York has lost 212,200 private sector jobs, erasing more than half of the 400,000 jobs added during the state's last economic expansion from 2003 to 2008.

After seasonal adjustment, New York State's unemployment rate increased from 7.7 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May (its highest level since February 1993), and New York City's rate increased from 8.0 percent in April 2009 to 9.0 percent in May 2009 (highest since October 1997). Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in May 2009. The number of unemployed state residents jumped over the month by 51,000 to 802,400 in May, its highest level since July 1976.

"New York State remains in recessionary mode, as evidenced by the latest labor market data. Nonetheless, the state continues to remain well below the national unemployment rate," said Peter A. Neenan, Ph.D., director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Note: When comparing different months, seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid comparison, for example, April 2009 versus May 2009. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, May 2008 versus May 2009.

1.) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

New York State's unemployment rate, after seasonal adjustment, increased from 7.7 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. In May 2008, the state's rate was 5.2 percent. The U.S. rate was 9.4 percent in May 2009, up from 8.9 percent in April. In May 2008, the nation's rate was 5.5 percent. New York City's rate increased from 8.0 percent in April 2009 to 9.0 percent in May 2009. In May 2008, the city's rate was 5.1 percent. The rate outside of New York City was 7.7 percent in May 2009, up from April's 7.4 percent. In May 2008, the rate outside of New York City was 5.2 percent.

Unemployment Rates* (seasonally adjusted)
 
  May 2009* April 2009 May 2008
New York State 8.2 7.7 5.2
United States 9.4 8.9 5.5
New York City 9.0 8.0 5.1
NYS, excluding NYC 7.7 7.4 5.2
*Data are preliminary and subject to change.

2.) Unemployment Insurance and EUC08 data (not seasonally adjusted):

Under the Regular Unemployment Insurance (Regular UI) program, individuals who are involuntarily unemployed through no fault of their own may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits as long as they remain ready, willing and able to work, and are actively seeking employment. Under the temporary federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, enacted on June 30, 2008, as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, claimants who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular benefits are eligible to receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits. Federal legislation signed into law on November 21, 2008, added up to 20 more weeks to the original 13 weeks of EUC08 benefits. Monthly beneficiaries data for these programs are noted below.

Program and Data Item* May 2009 April 2009 May 2008
Regular UI, monthly beneficiaries
421,131
456,806
196,514
Regular UI, year-to-date beneficiaries
708,300
649,457
417,899
EUC08, monthly beneficiaries
208,869
187,985
NA
EUC08, year-to-date beneficiaries
255,509
223,724
NA
*Data are preliminary and subject to revision.

3.) Job data (seasonally adjusted):

New York State and the nation, April 2009 - May 2009:

The number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased by 20,400, or 0.3 percent, to 7,102,000 in May 2009, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Nationally, the number of private sector jobs decreased by 0.3 percent over the same period. After seasonal adjustment, the number of nonfarm jobs in the state decreased over the month by 17,900, or 0.2 percent, to 8,609,600 in May 2009. Nationally, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs decreased by 0.3 percent.

4.) Nonfarm jobs since May 2008 (not seasonally adjusted):

  Total nonfarm jobs   -196,400
  Private sector jobs   -194,700

Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs (private plus public sectors) in New York State decreased by 196,400, or 2.2 percent, and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 194,700, or 2.7 percent. Nationally, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased by 4.0 percent and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 4.9 percent between May 2008 and May 2009.

Educational and health services (+33,700) was the only sector to add jobs over the May 2008-May 2009 period, with increases in both health care and social assistance (+17,500) and educational services (+16,200).

Trade, transportation and utilities (-61,200) registered the largest drop among declining industries, with sector losses centered in retail trade (-26,500) and wholesale trade (-21,500). Manufacturing (-41,600) had the second largest employment drop among declining industries. Manufacturing job losses were largest in durable goods (-30,000). The third largest employment drop was in professional and business services (-39,900), with sector losses centered in employment services (-29,900). Financial activities (-33,900) had the fourth largest job decline, with losses centered in finance and insurance (-28,700). Other industries that experienced declines include: construction; leisure and hospitality; information; government; other services; and natural resources and mining.

Industries with Job Gains:
     Educational & Health Services +33,700
 
Industries with Job Losses:
     Trade, Transportation & Utilities -61,200
     Manufacturing -41,600
     Professional & Business Services -39,900
     Financial Activities -33,900
     Construction -25,300
     Leisure & Hospitality -14,900
     Information -10,700
     Government -1,700
     Other Services -600
     Natural Resources & Mining -300

5.) Nonfarm jobs since April 2009 (not seasonally adjusted):

  Total nonfarm jobs   +58,100
  Private sector jobs   +49,800

In May 2009, New York State had 8,650,000 total nonfarm jobs, including 7,124,100 private sector jobs. From April 2009 to May 2009, the number of nonfarm jobs increased by 58,100 and the number of private sector jobs increased by 49,800. On average, in the previous ten years, the number of nonfarm jobs in New York increased by 78,700 from April to May, and the number of private sector jobs increased by 71,600.

The not seasonally adjusted job count increased over the month in leisure and hospitality (+32,400), construction (+15,300), trade, transportation and utilities (+10,400), government (+8,300), professional and business services (+4,800), other services (+3,100), and natural resources and mining (+400). The job count in educational and health services (-11,000), information (-2,000), manufacturing (-2,000), and financial activities (-1,600) decreased over the month.

6.) New York State nonfarm job highlights since April 2009 (not seasonally adjusted):

Leisure and hospitality
Leisure and hospitality employment increased over the month, with hiring focused in accommodation and food services, particularly food services and drinking places.

Construction
Construction employment experienced its typical seasonal increase in May, with most of the increase due to specialty trade contractors.

Trade, transportation and utilities
Most of this month's employment increase reflected gains in the retail trade sector.

Government
Most of the over-the-month rise in government employment was at the local government level, due primarily to increases at local elementary and secondary schools.

Professional and business services
This month's hiring increase was concentrated in administrative and support services.

Other services
This sector's over-the-month job growth was centered in religious, grantmaking, civic, professional and similar organizations, particularly religious organizations.

Natural resources and mining
Natural resources and mining employment experienced its usual April-May increase.

Financial activities
Employment losses in financial activities were largest in finance and insurance, especially securities, commodity contracts, and related activities.

Information
Publishing industries (except Internet) accounted for most of May's employment loss.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing's job count dropped over the month due to losses in durable goods, particularly in fabricated metal product manufacturing and computer and electric product manufacturing.

Educational and health services
Sector employment decreased over the month, with educational services - especially colleges, universities, and professional schools - losing the most jobs in May.

7.) Metropolitan Areas:

Job Growth and Unemployment Rates (not seasonally adjusted):

Note: All data reported in this section are not seasonally adjusted; the most valid comparisons with this type of data are year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, May 2008 versus May 2009.

Albany-Schenectady-Troy: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 11,300, or 2.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 9,100, or 2.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in May 2009, compared with 6.7 in April and 4.7 in May 2008.

Binghamton: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 3,200, or 2.7 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 3,100, or 3.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.7 in April and 5.0 in May 2008.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 13,800, or 2.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 14,500, or 3.2 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in May 2009, compared with 8.5 in April and 5.7 in May 2008.

Glens Falls: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 2,300, or 4.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 2,100, or 4.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in May 2009, compared with 8.0 in April and 5.0 in May 2008.

Ithaca: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 200, or 0.3 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 300, or 0.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in May 2009, compared with 4.9 in April and 3.8 in May 2008.

Kingston: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,100, or 1.7 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 1,500, or 3.1 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.0 in April and 5.1 in May 2008.

Nassau-Suffolk: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 35,600, or 2.8 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 35,000, or 3.3 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in May 2009, compared with 6.7 in April and 4.5 in May 2008.

New York City (five boroughs): Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 94,900, or 2.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 91,200, or 2.8 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.8 in April and 4.8 in May 2008.

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 5,400, or 2.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 5,400, or 2.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.2 in April and 5.1 in May 2008.

Putnam-Rockland-Westchester: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 10,000, or 1.7 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 9,800, or 2.0 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in May 2009, compared with 6.5 in April and 4.5 in May 2008.

Rochester: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 5,600, or 1.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 6,300, or 1.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.4 in April and 5.2 in May 2008.

Syracuse: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 3,800, or 1.2 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 4,400, or 1.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.7 in April and 5.2 in May 2008.

Utica-Rome: Since May 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,400, or 1.0 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 1,600, or 1.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in May 2009, compared with 7.4 in April and 5.1 in May 2008.

Note: 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. Jobs data for New York are obtained from a survey of 18,000 business establishments. Jobs data exclude agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers and domestic workers in private households.

See State and Area Jobs Data

See State and Area Unemployment Rates

See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet

See Labor Market Overview