Capital Region jobless numbers compare well

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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— The Capital Region held its spot as having the second-lowest unemployment rate among upstate New York metropolitan areas according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor. The region’s rate was 6.3 percent in January, putting it behind Ithaca’s 5 percent.

Rates jumped across the state from December to January, likely due to seasonal influences such as holiday hiring. In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, the rate jumped from 5.4 percent in December, but fell nearly two full points from the 8 percent unemployment rate of January 2013.

Saratoga County held the Capital Region’s lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, up from 5.1 percent in December and down from 7.7 percent a year earlier.

Albany County had the region’s next lowest rate at 6 percent, up from 5.2 percent in December but down from 7.6 percent a year earlier.

Schenectady County’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in January, up from 5.8 percent in December but down from 8.3 percent in January 2013.

Unemployment remains high in the region’s more rural areas. Fulton County’s rate was 9.1 percent in January. Montgomery and Schoharie counties had rates of 9.2 percent. The past year has seen improvement, though, as all three counties started 2013 with rates at 11.4 percent or higher.

The statewide unemployment rate fell from 7 percent to 6.8 percent from January 2013 to this past January. The rate depends in part on the results of a telephone survey of 3,100 households across the state.

The state’s private-sector job count increased by 119,600 over the same period. The economy added 5,400 private-sector jobs in January, bringing the state’s private-sector job count to a record high of 7,529,200.

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