New North Country unemployment figures better, but still not great



Preliminary June unemployment numbers are out from the New York State Department of Labor (here’s the press release with highlights and a link to the full numbers). In a nutshell, non-seasonally-adjusted numbers are, for our counties (if I missed any, all the information is in the above-linked document):

Lewis: 9.0 percent, down from 9.5 last year

St. Lawrence: 9.6, down from 10.8

Warren: 6.3, down from 7.5

Washington: 6.4, down from 7.3

Clinton: 8.6, down from 10.0

Essex: 7.9, down from 9.1

Franklin: 8.6, down from 9.5

Jefferson: 8.8, down from 9.4

Hamilton: 6.0, down from 6.7

Whew! So it looks like unemployment went down pretty much everywhere in our region in the last year. Of course, there are some caveats to keep in mind about unemployment numbers, the main one being that unemployment figures don’t count everyone who’s unemployed. Here’s who the numbers do count, from the state DOL’s unemployment fact sheet (emphasis mine):

The estimate of the number of unemployed includes all persons who had no employment during the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month), were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Unemployment insurance (UI) beneficiaries include those who apply for and qualify for UI benefits. Consequently, the estimate of the number of unemployed and the number of UI beneficiaries do not necessarily move in tandem.
The numbers have improved, though (again, there’s the question of how many people have simply given up looking for work, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment). But for the state, they’re still high — New York’s average unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, which means that of the counties listed above, six have higher-than-average unemployment. And St. Lawrence County has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state (9.6 percent), after Bronx County in New York City (11.8 percent).


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5 Comments on “New North Country unemployment figures better, but still not great”

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  1. Peter Klein says:

    Accent the positive and always remember that if you have a job, the economy is great no matter what the unemployment figures are.
    If you don’t have a job, the economy is horrible no matter what the unemployment figures are.
    This is how it has always been and will always be.

  2. newt says:

    I always seem to hear how depressed Hamilton County is compared to the rest of even the depressed North Country, but it’s unemployment rate is the lowest listed, and , except for Warren, even beat the national average, (by a lot).

    What’s that about?

  3. mervel says:

    Good question Newt. I bet if you drill down you will find a very small labor pool and among that group an even smaller number actively looking for work in Hamilton County which is all the unemployment rate measures.

    How many people live in Hamilton County? The last number I saw was around 4000 total. Less than live in the village of Canton. So among that group how many are retired, second home owners and children? Take them out and how many are unemployed AND seeking work?

    I like Hamilton County but come on I don’t know why we see so much worry over the county given its tiny size.

  4. mervel says:

    The bigger issue is that we have a large county with the second highest unemployment rate in the entire state, following up right behind the Bronx in that wonderful distinction.

  5. Sunny Day says:

    Village of Canton? It’s in St. Lawrence County, not Hamilton!

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