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New York State Department of Labor

Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7% in May
Lowest Level Since August 2007

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Albany, NY (June 16, 2016) -

The statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.7% in May 2016. This represented the state’s lowest unemployment rate since August 2007. New York’s unemployment rate was equal to the U.S. rate in May 2016. In addition, the number of unemployed New Yorkers also decreased over the month – falling from 476,600 in April to 461,800 in May 2016, reaching its lowest level since October 2007.

New York State's private sector job count declined by 19,600, or 0.2%, in May 2016. About half of the state's private sector job losses in May were temporary, due to a strike in the telecommunications industry. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 794,700 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 56 of the past 65 months.

The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“Both the statewide unemployment rate and the number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased in May. The state’s unemployment rate fell from 4.9% to 4.7% over the month, its lowest level since August 2007. In addition, the number of unemployed state residents fell by 14,800 to reach its lowest level since October 2007,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor Division of Research and Statistics.

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to 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 2015 versus May 2016.

 

U.S. and New York State: April – May 2016

1) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State in April-May 2016.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
April – May 2016
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

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

Net
%
Net
%
United States +38,000 0.0% +25,000 0.0%
New York State -15,000 -0.2% -19,600 -0.2%

 

2) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In April-May 2016, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.7%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased from 476,600 in April to 461,800 in May 2016.


Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  May 2016* April 2016 May 2015
United States 4.7 5.0 5.5
New York State 4.7 4.9 5.4
New York City 5.1 5.4 5.7
NYS, outside NYC 4.4 4.4 5.1

 

U.S., New York State and Metro Areas: May 2015 – May 2016

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table that follows compares the over-the-year change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs that occurred in the United States, New York State and metro areas within the State between May 2015 and May 2016.


Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
May 2015 – May 2016
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 
Net
%
Net
%
United States +2,359,000 +1.7% +2,258,000 +1.9%
New York State +81,800 +0.9% +74,900 +1.0%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy -3,300 -0.7% -2,900 -0.8%
    Binghamton -1,000 -1.0% -700 -0.9%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls +3,400 +0.6% +2,700 +0.6%
    Dutchess-Putnam +2,200 +1.5% +1,800 +1.5%
    Elmira -800 -2.1% -600 -1.8%
    Glens Falls 0 0.0% -200 -0.4%
    Ithaca -300 -0.4% 0 0.0%
    Kingston +400 +0.6% +800 +1.7%
    Nassau-Suffolk +4,400 +0.3% +2,200 +0.2%
    New York City +85,400 +2.0% +80,900 +2.2%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester +10,200 +1.4% +8,700 +1.5%
    Rochester -1,200 -0.2% -800 -0.2%
    Syracuse -400 -0.1% -800 -0.3%
    Utica-Rome +700 +0.5% +500 +0.5%
    Watertown-Fort Drum +600 +1.4% +700 +2.2%
    Non-metro Counties +500 +0.1% +300 +0.1%

 

Job highlights since May 2015:

  • Over the past year, private sector jobs grew most rapidly in these metro areas in New York State:
    • New York City (+2.2%)
    • Watertown-Fort Drum (+2.2%)
    • Kingston (+1.7%)
    • Dutchess-Putnam (+1.5%)
    • Orange-Rockland-Westchester (+1.5%)
  • Over the past year, six metro areas in the state – Elmira (-1.8%), Binghamton (-0.9%), Albany-Schenectady-Troy (-0.8%), Glens Falls (-0.4%), Syracuse (-0.3%) and Rochester (-0.2%) – lost private sector jobs.

Change in jobs by major industry sector: May 2015 – May 2016

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-year change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between May 2015 and May 2016.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector
May 2015 – May 2016

*Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.
Sectors With Job Gains:
Educational & Health Services* +44,100
Professional & Business Services +13,200
Construction +11,100
Leisure & Hospitality +7,000
Government* +6,900
Other Services +6,700
Financial Activities +2,600
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +1,400
 
Sectors With Job Losses:
Information -7,400
Manufacturing -3,500
Natural Resources & Mining -300

 

Highlights among NYS sectors with job gains since May 2015:

  • Private educational and health services added the most jobs (+44,100) of any major industry sector over the past year. Sector job gains were mostly in health care and social assistance (+42,600), especially ambulatory health care services (+20,100).
  • The second largest employment increase over the past year occurred in professional and business services (+13,200), with sector gains centered in professional, scientific and technical services (+16,300), especially advertising (+4,400), and management, scientific, and technical consulting (+3,900).
  • Construction had the third largest increase in jobs (+11,100) between May 2015 and May 2016. Over the past year, sector job gains were mostly in specialty trade contractors (+13,700), especially building equipment contractors (+6,400).

Highlights among NYS sectors with job losses since May 2015:

  • Over the past 12 months, information lost the most jobs (-7,400) of any major industry sector in New York. Job losses were focused in telecommunications (-11,000), due primarily to the recent strike in that industry.
  • Manufacturing had the second largest decrease in jobs (-3,500). Sector losses were focused in durable goods (-3,700), especially fabricated metals (-5,000).

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits: May 2016

1) Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI):

For New York State, during the week that included May 12, 2016, there were 118,458 people (including 107,635 who live in the State) who received benefits under the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

New York State residents who received Unemployment Insurance benefits made up 23% of the total unemployed in the State in May 2016.

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 the March 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. In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments. Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or 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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