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 Unemployment Rate Climbs to 9.0 Percent in December
Decembers Unemployment Rate Matches 26-Year High

Albany, NY (January 21, 2010) - New York State's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed over the month from 8.6 percent in November to 9.0 percent in December 2009, matching a 26-year high, the State Labor Department reported today. The number of unemployed state residents increased from 832,200 to 868,600 over the same period.

In December 2009, New York State's seasonally adjusted private sector job count dropped by 3,100 (less than 0.1 percent) to 7,050,700. Since the state went into recession in August 2008, it has lost 263,500 private sector jobs, or about two-thirds of the employment added during the state's 2003-2008 economic expansion. The statewide total nonfarm job count (private plus public sectors) also decreased over the month -- by 5,900, or 0.1 percent, to 8,544,900 in December 2009.

"In December 2009, New York State's unemployment rate remained well below the nation's rate, while employers in the state cut jobs over the past year at a more modest pace than those in the U.S. Experience suggests that the unemployment rate may continue to increase in the early stages of an economic recovery as some firms are slow to hire new workers and job seekers re-enter the labor force," 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, November 2009 versus December 2009. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month; for example, December 2008 versus December 2009.

1.) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

New York State's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed from 8.6 percent in November to 9.0 percent in December 2009. In December 2008, the state's rate was 6.6 percent. The U.S. rate held steady at 10.0 percent in December 2009. In December 2008, the nation's rate was 7.4 percent. New York City's rate increased from 10.0 percent in November to 10.6 percent in December 2009. In December 2008, the city's rate was 7.0 percent. The rate outside of New York City increased from 7.6 percent in November to 7.8 percent in December 2009. In December 2008, the rate outside of New York City was 6.2 percent.

Unemployment Rates* (seasonally adjusted)
 
  December 2009* November 2009 December 2008
New York State 9.0 8.6 6.6
United States 10.0 10.0 7.4
New York City 10.6 10.0 7.0
NYS, excluding NYC 7.8 7.6 6.2
*Data are preliminary and subject to change.

2.) Regular Unemployment Insurance, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) and Extended Benefits (EB) 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 December 21, 2008 added up to 20 more weeks to the original 13 weeks of EUC08 benefits.

State legislation signed on May 20, 2009 provides additional weeks of Extended Benefits (EB) for individuals who have exhausted their EUC08 benefits. Currently, up to 20 weeks of EB are available because the State's three-month average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate exceeds 8.0 percent (the thresholds for 13 weeks and 20 weeks of EB are three-month average seasonally adjusted unemployment rates of 6.5 percent and 8.0 percent, respectively). Reference week beneficiaries data for these programs are noted below. (Note: The reference week refers to the week containing the 12th day of the month.)

Federal legislation signed on December 19, 2009 extends the deadline for which an individual may initially establish eligibility for EUC benefits from December 31, 2009 to February 28, 2010. The December 31, 2009 deadline for individuals collecting EB was also extended to February 28, 2010. Finally, the deadline for individuals moving from one EUC tier to the next was extended to February 28, 2010. A total of 53 weeks of EUC are now available to individuals who exhaust their third tier of EUC benefits by February 28, 2010 and can enter the last tier, for a grand total of 99 weeks of regular UI/EB/EUC benefits.

Program and Data Item* December 2009 November 2009 December 2008
Regular UI, reference week beneficiaries
269,947
254,420
229,773
Regular UI, year-to-date beneficiaries
1,051,525
1,008,609
715,514
EUC08, reference week beneficiaries
307,362
281,135
115,538
EUC08, year-to-date beneficiaries
544,795
509,887
177,063
EB, reference week beneficiaries
38,219
47,315
NA
EB, year-to-date beneficiaries
120,919
120,820
NA
*Data are preliminary and subject to revision.
Note: EUC08 Tier 1 began 7/13/2008; Tier 2 began 2/22/2009; Tier 3 began 11/15/2009. Extended Benefits began 5/24/2009.

3.) Job data (seasonally adjusted):

New York State and the nation, November 2009-December 2009:

The number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased by 3,100, or less than 0.1 percent, to 7,050,700 in December 2009, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Nationally, the number of private sector jobs decreased by 0.1 percent over the same period. After seasonal adjustment, the number of nonfarm jobs (private plus public sectors) in the state decreased over the month by 5,900, or 0.1 percent, to 8,544,900 in December 2009. Nationally, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs also decreased by 0.1 percent in December.

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

  Total nonfarm jobs   -169,800
  Private sector jobs   -153,100

Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs (private plus public sectors) in New York State decreased by 169,800, or 1.9 percent, and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 153,100, or 2.1 percent. Nationally, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased by 3.0 percent and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 3.6 percent between December 2008 and December 2009.

Educational and health services (+44,800) was the only major industry sector to add jobs over the December 2008-December 2009 period. Within this sector, increases were registered in both health care and social assistance (+27,800) and educational services (+17,000).

Professional and business services (-40,300) registered the largest over-the-year drop among declining sectors. Losses in this sector were concentrated in professional, scientific and technical services (-21,100), and in administrative and support services (-20,100). Manufacturing lost 38,700 jobs between December 2008 and December 2009 with most of the loss in durable goods (-29,900), especially fabricated metal product manufacturing (-6,100). Trade, transportation and utilities lost 34,600 jobs over the year with its losses concentrated in the economically-sensitive wholesale and retail trade industry group (-26,200). Job losses in financial services (-30,700) were centered in the securities industry (-18,400). Construction lost 25,400 jobs, with specialty trade contractors experiencing the largest decline within the sector (-16,700). Jobs also decreased over the year in government, information, leisure and hospitality, other services, and natural resources and mining.

Change in Jobs by Sector,
December 2008 - December 2009
Sector with Job Gain:
     Educational & Health Services +44,800
 
Sectors with Job Losses:
     Professional & Business Services -40,300
     Manufacturing -38,700
     Trade, Transportation & Utilities -34,600
     Financial Activities -30,700
     Construction -25,400
     Government -16,700
     Information -13,800
     Leisure & Hospitality -9,800
     Other Services -4,200
     Natural Resources & Mining -400

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

  Total nonfarm jobs   -5,200
  Private sector jobs   -4,100

In December 2009, New York State had 8,648,300 total nonfarm jobs, including 7,131,200 private sector jobs. From November 2009 to December 2009, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased by 5,200 and the number of private sector jobs decreased by 4,100. On average, in the previous ten years, the number of nonfarm jobs in New York increased by 25,800 from November to December, and the number of private sector jobs increased by 23,500.

The not seasonally adjusted job count increased over the month in trade, transportation and utilities (+17,300), information (+700), and other services (+400). The job count decreased over the month in construction (-11,300), professional and business services (-6,200), leisure and hospitality (-1,900), manufacturing (-1,800), government (-1,100), educational and health services (-700), and natural resources and mining (-600). Financial activities employment was unchanged in December.

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

Trade, transportation and utilities
This month's increase reflected employment gains in retail trade, particularly at clothing and clothing accessories stores.

Information
Sector employment gains in December were centered in motion picture and sound recording.

Other services
This sector's December job gains were centered in business, professional, labor, political and similar organizations.

Financial activities
Employment in financial activities was unchanged over the month, as a small seasonal gain in real estate and rental and leasing was just offset by a small loss in finance and insurance.

Natural resources and mining
Natural resources and mining employment declined seasonally in December.

Educational and health services
Sector employment decreased over the month as gains in health care and social assistance were overshadowed by seasonal losses in educational services, particularly at colleges, universities, and professional schools.

Government
Overall government employment decreased in December with small losses registered at the federal, state, and local levels.

Manufacturing
The over-the-month decline in manufacturing employment was centered in non-durable goods, especially apparel manufacturing.

Leisure and hospitality
This month's decrease in leisure and hospitality jobs reflected losses in accommodation and food services.

Professional and business services
Over-the-month job decreases in this sector were largest in administrative and support services, especially employment services.

Construction
Construction sector employment decreased seasonally in December, particularly in heavy and civil engineering construction.

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, December 2008 versus December 2009.

Albany-Schenectady-Troy: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 9,300, or 2.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 5,500, or 1.6 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in December 2009, compared with 6.7 in November and 5.9 in December 2008.

Binghamton: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 2,900, or 2.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 3,300, or 3.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in December 2009, compared with 8.2 in November and 7.1 in December 2008.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 11,300, or 2.0 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 9,300, or 2.0 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December 2009, compared with 8.0 in November and 7.1 in December 2008.

Glens Falls: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 1,300, or 2.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 500, or 1.2 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in December 2009, compared with 8.0 in November and 7.7 in December 2008.

Ithaca: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 100, or 0.2 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 400, or 0.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in December 2009, compared with 5.2 in November and 4.6 in December 2008.

Kingston: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 400, or 0.6 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 700, or 1.5 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December 2009, compared with 7.5 in November and 6.5 in December 2008.

Nassau-Suffolk: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 24,600, or 1.9 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 21,800, or 2.1 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in December 2009, compared with 6.8 in November and 5.8 in December 2008.

New York City (five boroughs): Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 75,000, or 2.0 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 67,500, or 2.1 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in December 2009, compared with 9.9 in November and 7.2 in December 2008.

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 5,500, or 2.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 5,500, or 2.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in December 2009, compared with 7.5 in November and 6.2 in December 2008.

Putnam-Rockland-Westchester: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 12,500, or 2.1 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 11,000, or 2.3 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in December 2009, compared with 6.7 in November and 5.6 in December 2008.

Rochester: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 7,600, or 1.5 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 8,200, or 1.9 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in December 2009, compared with 7.6 in November and 6.7 in December 2008.

Syracuse: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 4,600, or 1.4 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 4,500, or 1.7 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in December 2009, compared with 7.8 in November and 6.9 in December 2008.

Utica-Rome: Since December 2008, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 2,100, or 1.6 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 2,100, or 2.1 percent. The area's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December 2009, compared with 7.3 in November and 6.9 in December 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