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New York State
Department of Labor

Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor Peter M. Rivera, Commissioner

New York's Economic Recovery Continues to Add Jobs

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Albany, NY (June 14, 2012) -

New York State's private sector continues steady growth while the labor force expands at a rapid pace, the State Labor Department reported today. New York State's economy added 6,100 private sector jobs, or 0.1%, in May 2012. Since the beginning of the state's economic recovery in November 2009, New York State has added 336,900 private sector jobs and regained all of the private sector jobs it lost during the recession. The state's private sector job count now stands at 7,321,400 - an all-time high.

In May 2012, New York State's labor force increased by 28,200, the largest jump in monthly labor force levels since late 2001. This increase impacted the state's unemployment rate, which rose from 8.5% in April to 8.6% in May 2012.

"The latest statistics show that New York's private sector employers continued to add jobs, while over 28,000 jobseekers re-entered the labor force. As the economy continues to improve, more people tend to enter the labor force. As a result, the increase in the number of job seekers pushed up the state's jobless rate in May," said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Note: The data above are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month; for example, May 2011 versus May 2012.

1) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The state's unemployment rate was 8.6% in May 2012, up from April's level of 8.5%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers also increased over the month -- from 806,800 in April to 826,400 in May 2012.

Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  May 2012* April 2012 May 2011
United States 8.2 8.1 9.0
New York State 8.6 8.5 8.1
New York City 9.7 9.5 8.8
NYS, outside NYC 7.9 7.7 7.5


2) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

U.S. and New York State, April 2012 - May 2012

The table below compares the over-the-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State between April 2012 and May 2012.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs,
April 2012 - May 2012
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:

United States +69,000 +0.1% +82,000 +0.1%
New York State +5,900 +0.1% +6,100 +0.1%


3) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

U.S., New York State, Major Regions, and Metro Areas: May 2011 - May 2012

The table below compares the over-the-year change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States, New York State, the Upstate and Downstate regions, and metro areas in the state between May 2011 and May 2012.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs,
May 2011 - May 2012
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
United States +1,838,000 +1.4% +1,983,000 +1.8%
New York State +134,500 +1.5% +136,300 +1.9%
Downstate NY (10-co. area) +92,000 +1.6% +94,700 +2.0%
  New York City +75,700 +2.0% +78,900 +2.4%
  Suburban Counties +16,300 +0.9% +15,800 +1.0%
    Nassau-Suffolk +9,100 +0.7% +8,100 +0.8%
    Putnam-Rockland-Westchester +7,200 +1.3% +7,700 +1.6%
Upstate NY (52-co. area) +29,400 +0.9% +28,800 +1.2%
  Metro Areas +29,300 +1.2% +26,000 +1.3%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy +7,200 +1.6% +6,100 +1.8%
    Binghamton +2,000 +1.8% +2,500 +3.0%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls +2,300 +0.4% +2,100 +0.5%
    Elmira -1, 600 -3.9% -1,200 -3.6%
    Glens Falls +1,500 +2.7% +1,500 +3.4%
    Ithaca -3,100 -4.6% -3,200 -5.6%
    Kingston +1,900 +3.1% +2,200 +4.9%
    Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown +200 +0.1% +100 +0.1%
    Rochester +10,700 +2.1% +9,900 +2.3%
    Syracuse +4,300 +1.4% +1,900 +0.7%
    Utica-Rome +3,900 +3.0% +4,100 +4.3%
Non-metro Counties +100 0.0% +2,800 +0.7%


Job highlights since May 2011:

  • Since May 2011, the number of private sector jobs in the state increased by 136,300, or 1.9%. Over the same time frame, the nation's private sector job count increased by 1.8%.
  • In the 10-county Downstate region, private sector jobs grew by 2.0% over the past year. Within the Downstate region, jobs grew by 2.4% in New York City and by 1.0% in the suburban counties.
  • In the 52-county Upstate region, the private sector job count grew by 1.2% over the past year. Job growth was most rapid in the region's metro areas (+1.3%).
  • Over the past year, private sector jobs grew most rapidly in these metro areas in the state:
    • Kingston (+4.9%)
    • Utica-Rome (+4.3%)
    • Glens Falls (+3.4%)
    • Binghamton (+3.0%)
    • New York City (+2.4%)
    • Rochester (+2.3%)
  • Ithaca (-5.6%) and Elmira (-3.6%) were the only metro areas in the state to lose private sector jobs between May 2011 and May 2012.

4) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

Change in jobs by major industry sector, May 2011 - May 2012

The table below compares the over-the-year change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State between May 2011 and May 2012.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector,
May 2011 - May 2012

*The educational and health services category is in the private sector. Government includes public education and health services.
Sectors With Job Gains:
Professional & Business Services +58,500
Educational & Health Services* +33,800
Leisure & Hospitality +21,700
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +21,700
Financial Activities +17,900
Sectors With Job Losses:
Construction -9,300
Information -5,500
Government* -1,800
Other Services -1,400
Manufacturing -1,000
Natural Resources and Mining -100


Highlights among NYS sectors with job gains since May 2011:

  • Professional and business services added the most jobs (+58,500) of any sector between May 2011 and May 2012. Sector job gains over this period were focused in professional, scientific and technical services (+34,200) and administrative and support services (+21,600).
  • Private educational and health services (+33,800) had the second largest increase in jobs over the past year. Sector employment gains occurred in both educational services (+17,600) and health care and social assistance (+16,200).

Highlights among NYS sectors with job losses since May 2011:

  • Over the past year, construction lost more jobs (-9,300) than any other sector in the state. Sector job losses were concentrated in specialty trade contractors (-6,100) and heavy and civil engineering construction (-3,800).
  • The information sector lost 5,500 jobs over the past year. Sector job losses were largest in publishing (-1,800).


5) Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs:

For New York, during the week that included May 12, 2012, there were 423,494 people (including 386,642 who live in the state) who received benefits under:

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI),
  • Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), or
  • Federal Extended Benefits (EB) programs.

New Yorkers who received unemployment insurance made up 47% of the total unemployed in the state in May 2012.

Currently, Unemployment Insurance claimants in New York State may receive up to 79 weeks of benefits. In February 2012, Congress passed an extension of EUC and EB through December 2012. However, beginning in early June, there are significant changes to the maximum number of weeks of benefits available to the unemployed in New York State.

  • As of June 4, 2012, UI claimants in New York State are eligible for EUC Tier 4 because the 3-month average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached 8.5%. EUC Tier 4 provides a maximum of 6 weeks of benefits.
  • As of June 11, 2012, claimants in New York State are no longer eligible for EB since the 3-month average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate no longer meets federal criteria. This represents a loss of 20 weeks of federally funded benefits. Most EB claimants moved to EUC Tier 4 on June 4, 2012. (Note: To qualify for EB, the state's 3-month average seasonally adjusted rate must equal or exceed 110% of the corresponding rate in each of the past three years. New York does not qualify because the corresponding rate in 2009 was 7.8%, and 110% of that equals 8.6%.)

Taken together, these two changes resulted in a net reduction of 14 weeks of benefits in New York State, leaving a maximum of 79 weeks of benefits starting in June. See the table below for the maximum number of weeks available under the new federal regulations.

Maximum Number of Weeks of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Available in New York State
Program: June 2012 September 2012 January 2013
Regular UI 26 26 26
EUC Total 53 37 0
Tier 1
20 14 0
Tier 2
14 14 0
Tier 3
13 9 0
Tier 4
6 0 0
EB 0 0 0
Total 79 63 26


People who file a new claim during the week that begins June 25, 2012 or later are likely to only receive up to 26 weeks of regular UI. We encourage people to use the Department's online Unemployment Insurance calculator to estimate how many weeks they may receive. See the calculator on the State Department of Labor's website or go here: http://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/UIBenefitsCalculator.shtm


Note: The responsibility for the production of monthly estimates of state and metro area nonfarm employment by industry moved from the Division of Research and Statistics to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), starting with April 2011 estimates. More detailed information on the change is available on the BLS web site.

Many economic data series have a seasonal pattern, which means they tend to occur at the same time each year (e.g., retail jobs usually increase in December). Seasonal adjustment is the process of removing seasonal effects from a data series. This is done to simplify the data so that they may be more easily interpreted and help to reveal true underlying trends. Seasonal adjustment permits comparisons of data from one month to data from any other month.

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. We survey 18,000 business establishments to get jobs data for New York State by industry. The jobs data do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers and domestic workers in private households.


See State and Area Job Data (opens in new window)
See Labor Market Overview (opens in new window)
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet (opens in new window)


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