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
New York State's Recession Deepened In February 2009
Private Sector Job Count Lengthens Decline, Highest Unemployment Rate Since 1993

Albany, NY (March 26, 2009) - New York State's seasonally adjusted private sector job count decreased over the month by 25,900, or 0.4 percent, to 7,168,400 in February 2009, the State Labor Department reported today. Since its peak in August 2008, New York State's private sector job count has declined by 145,800.

New York State's unemployment rate, after seasonal adjustment, rose from 7.0 percent in January to 7.8 percent in February 2009, its highest level since June 1993. The rate jumped 0.8 percentage points, matching the largest over-the-month increase on record. New York City's rate climbed from 6.9 percent in January 2009 to 8.1 percent in February 2009, its highest rate since October 2003. The increase in New York City's unemployment rate (+1.2 percentage points) was a record. The rate outside of New York City was 7.6 percent in February 2009, the highest since September 1983.

"New York State's recession deepened in February 2009. In the past six months, the state has lost almost 150,000 private sector jobs, while the state's unemployment rate climbed to its highest level in more than 15 years. Outside of New York City, the region's unemployment rate stood at a 25-year high," 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, January 2009 versus February 2009. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, February 2008 versus February 2009.

1.) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

New York State's unemployment rate, after seasonal adjustment, rose to 7.8 percent in February 2009, up from 7.0 percent in January 2009. The nation's rate was 8.1 percent in February 2009, up from 7.6 percent in January. In New York City, the rate was 8.1 percent in February 2009, up from 6.9 percent in January. In February 2008, the city's rate was 4.4 percent. The rate for New York State outside of New York City increased from 7.0 percent in January 2009 to 7.6 percent in February 2009. In February 2008, the rate for New York State outside of New York City was 4.8 percent.

  
  Unemployment Rates* (seasonally adjusted)
  February 2009 January 2009 February 2008
New York State 7.8 7.0 4.6
United States 8.1 7.6 4.8
New York City 8.1 6.9 4.4
NYS, excluding NYC 7.6 7.0 4.8
*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. Currently, beneficiaries in New York State may receive up to 33 weeks of EUC08 benefits in addition to the 26 weeks of regular UI benefits. Monthly beneficiaries' data for these two programs are noted below.

  
Program and Data Item February 2009 January 2009 February 2008
Regular UI, monthly beneficiaries
409,509
379,664
238,150
Regular UI, year-to-date beneficiaries
485,746
379,664
300,274
EUC08, monthly beneficiaries
146,632
146,764
NA
EUC08, year-to-date beneficiaries
169,642
146,764
NA

3.) Job data (seasonally adjusted):

New York State and the nation, January 2009 - February 2009:

The number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased by 25,900 or 0.4 percent, to 7,168,400 in February 2009, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Nationally, the number of private sector jobs decreased by 0.6 percent over the same period. After seasonal adjustment, the number of nonfarm jobs in the state decreased over the month by 27,800, or 0.3 percent, to 8,671,600 in February 2009. Nationally, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs decreased by 0.5 percent.

4.) Nonfarm jobs since February 2008 (not seasonally adjusted):
  Total nonfarm jobs   -143,700
  Private sector jobs   -141,000

Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs (private plus public sectors) in New York State decreased by 143,700 or 1.7 percent, and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 141,000 or 2.0 percent. Nationally, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased by 3.1 percent and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 3.9 percent between February 2008 and February 2009.

Educational and health services added the largest number of jobs (+24,000) over the February 2008-February 2009 period, with most of the increase in health care and social assistance (+20,200). The job count also increased over the year in other services and natural resources and mining.

Trade, transportation and utilities (-46,200) registered the largest drop among declining industries, with sector losses centered in retail trade (-20,600). Professional and business services (-32,300) had the second largest employment drop among declining industries, with sector losses centered in administrative and support services (-21,200).

The third largest employment drop was in manufacturing (-31,700). Manufacturing job losses were largest in durable goods (-23,500), especially transportation equipment manufacturing (-3,600). Financial activities (-28,900) had the fourth largest job decline count, with sector job losses centered in securities and commodity contracts (-19,700). Other industries that experienced declines include: construction; leisure and hospitality; information; and government.

Industries with Job Gains:
  Educational & Health Services   +24,000
  Other Services   +3,000
  Natural Resources & Mining   +100
 
 
Industries with Job Losses:
  Trade, Transportation & Utilities   -46,200
  Professional & Business Services   -32,300
  Manufacturing   -31,700
  Financial Activities   -28,900
  Construction   -20,300
  Leisure & Hospitality   -4,400
  Information   -4,300
  Government   -2,700
 
5.) Nonfarm jobs since January 2009 (not seasonally adjusted):
  Total nonfarm jobs   +9,500
  Private sector jobs   -8,400

In February 2009, New York State had 8,536,200 total nonfarm jobs, including 7,023,000 private sector jobs. From January 2009 to February 2009, the number of nonfarm jobs increased by 9,500 and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 8,400. On average, in the previous ten years, the number of nonfarm jobs in New York increased by 45,500 from January to February, and the number of private sector jobs increased by 24,300.

The not seasonally adjusted job count increased over the month in educational and health services (+31,100), government (+17,900), information (+2,900), leisure and hospitality (+1,200), other services (+600), and natural resources and mining (+100). The job count in trade, transportation and utilities (-25,700), construction (-6,300), professional and business services (-5,900), financial activities (-3,800), and manufacturing (-2,600) decreased over the month.

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

Educational and health services
Over-the-month employment increases were mostly due to seasonal gains at colleges, universities and professional schools.

Government
The increase in public sector employment reflected the return of local elementary and secondary schools, as well as public colleges and universities, from winter break.

Information
Motion picture and sound recording accounted for February's gain in sector employment.

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

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

Natural resource and mining
Natural resources and mining employment increased in February.

Manufacturing
Manufacturing's job count dropped over the month due to losses in non-durable goods, particularly in printing and related support activities.

Financial activities
Sector employment losses were centered in securities, commodity contracts, and related activities.

Professional and business services
Over-the-month job losses in professional and business services were centered in administrative and support services and in professional, scientific, and technical services.

Construction
Construction sector employment decreased seasonally, especially in specialty trade contractors.

Trade, transportation and utilities
Most of this month's employment decrease reflected seasonal losses in retail trade, particularly in food and beverage stores and in general merchandise stores.

7.) Metropolitan Areas:

Job Growth and Unemployment Rates (not seasonally adjusted):

Albany-Schenectady-Troy: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 6,500, or 1.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 5,500, or 1.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in February 2009, compared with 7.1 in January and 5.1 in February 2008.

Binghamton: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,300, or 1.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 1,300, or 1.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in February 2009, compared with 8.5 in January and 5.7 in February 2008.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 10,900, or 2.0 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 11,800, or 2.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in February 2009, compared with 9.1 in January and 6.3 in February 2008.

Glens Falls: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 700, or 1.3 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 600, or 1.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 10.0 percent in February 2009, compared with 9.3 in January and 6.5 in February 2008.

Ithaca: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 200, or 0.3 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 200, or 0.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in February 2009, compared with 5.6 in January and 3.5 in February 2008.

Kingston: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,500, or 2.4 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 1,600, or 3.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in February 2009, compared with 7.8 in January and 5.5 in February 2008.

Nassau-Suffolk: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 20,600, or 1.7 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 20,600, or 2.0 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in February 2009, compared with 6.9 in January and 4.7 in February 2008.

New York City (five boroughs): Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 79,900, or 2.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 76,700, or 2.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in February 2009, compared with 7.3 in January and 4.5 in February 2008.

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 2,800, or 1.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 3,400, or 1.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in February 2009, compared with 7.4 in January and 5.1 in February 2008.

Putnam-Rockland-Westchester: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 7,200, or 1.3 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 7,100, or 1.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in February 2009, compared with 6.7 in January and 4.5 in February 2008.

Rochester: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,400, or 0.3 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 2,200, or 0.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in February 2009, compared with 7.9 in January and 5.7 in February 2008.

Syracuse: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,900, or 0.6 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 2,800, or 1.1 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in February 2009, compared with 8.2 in January and 5.7 in February 2008.

Utica-Rome: Since February 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,400, or 1.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 1,400, or 1.4 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in February 2009, compared with 8.3 in January and 6.1 in February 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