Capital Region jobless rate remains high in February
CAPITAL REGION The unemployment rate for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan area in February remained a stubbornly high 7.7 percent, barely changing from January’s 7.8 percent as more than 35,000 were jobless.
February 2009 had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.
The state Department of Labor said the Capital Region shed 9,700 nonfarm jobs and 7,100 private-sector jobs, representing a more than 2 percent decline in both categories between February 2008 and February 2009.
For business owners like Harmeet Kaur, who want to be able create local jobs, the cost of doing business during recessionary times remains a barrier.
The owner of BS American and Indian Bazaar at 1901 State St. in Schenectady said her electric bill is more than all of the other monthly expenses for her business combined. The 3-month-old venture sells Indian and American groceries.
“I can’t hire anybody. I have no choice,” she said. “I have three children and I can’t be here every day. I want at least one day off.”
Statewide, the unemployment rate held at 8.8 percent in February as the economy showed slight improvement. New York’s number of unemployed declined slightly from 851,400 in January to 845,100 in February. And there was a 0.1 percent increase in employment as 5,800 nonfarm jobs and 8,100 private-sector jobs were added.
The jobless rate in the U.S. remained steady at 9.7 percent.
“New York state’s labor market continues to improve. We’ve now added jobs for two consecutive months and the state’s unemployment rate has leveled off. However, following previous recessions it has taken the state about five years, on average, to regain all of the jobs lost during a downturn,” Peter Neenan, state Department of Labor director of the Division of Research and Statistics, said in a statement.
As the state has yet to recover all the jobs lost from the recession, incomes continue to face downward pressure as employers cut costs.
Newly revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show personal incomes in New York state fell 3.4 percent from 2008 to 2009.
The BLS defines personal income as the sum of net earnings by place of residence, property income and personal current transfer receipts.
Earnings losses were concentrated in the finance industry, as per-capita income declined to $46,957 in 2009 from $48,809 in 2008.