Skip to main content

Unemployment in New York State's Metro Areas Tops 14%

Email share
File Photo

The unemployment rate nearly quadrupled in New York state’s metro areas in May compared to the same time last year, landing at 14.5% across the board, according to data released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor.

And, during the same time period, New York state lost more than 1.6 million private sector employees, bringing the statewide total to 6.6 million, the agency said.

Both are the result of a wave of job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led the state to largely close private sector businesses, or restrict employees to working from home. Those rules have led to an unprecedented number of people filing for unemployment.

New York City had the highest unemployment rate in May, at 18.2%. That’s more than four times higher than the same time last year, when unemployment in the five boroughs was at 3.8%.

The lowest unemployment rate was found in the Ithaca metro area, where unemployment was 7.8% last month. That’s compared to 3.3% at the same time last year.

Ithaca and the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area were the only two regions that maintained an unemployment rate below 10%, according to the data. Most metro areas recorded rates between 10% and 14%.

Counties not included in those metro areas saw their overall unemployment rate grow to 10.6%, which is more than double what it was last year at this time.





*Data are preliminary and subject to change.
Metro Areas14.53.6
Albany-Schenectady-Troy9.6 3.3
Buffalo-Niagara Falls14.33.8
Glens Falls11.23.7
Ithaca7.8 3.3
New York City18.23.8
Watertown-Fort Drum12.04.6
Non-metro counties 10.64.0