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Unemployment Ticks Down Statewide, But Up Outside New York City

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New York State

The unemployment rate in New York last month was still more than double what it was at the same time last year as the state continues to recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Data released by the state Department of Labor Thursday showed an unemployment rate of 9.6% in New York in October — down just a tick from 9.7% in September.

The slight drop was the result of 45,600 new private sector jobs being added in New York during October, which was the sixth month of job growth in the state. New York still had more than one million fewer jobs in October compared to the same time last year.

October 2020September 2020October 2019
United States6.97.93.6
New York State9.69.73.9
New York City13.213.93.6
NYS, outside NYC6.96.64.1

The unemployment rate actually went up outside New York City, according to the state. While the unemployment rate in the five boroughs dropped to 13.2% in October, the rate outside New York City went up from 6.6% in September to 6.9% in October.

But the unemployment rate outside New York City was closer in October to what it was last year. In October of last year, the unemployment rate was 4.1% outside New York City.

New York City has a longer way to go to get back to its unemployment rate from last year. While it was at 13.2% in October, it was at 3.6% at the same time last year. New York City has lost nearly 554,000 private sector jobs in the last year, according to the state.

The data comes as New York continues to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, while some areas have fallen under new restrictions due to a resurgence of the virus. Those restrictions had put new pressure on non-essential businesses and restaurants in those areas.

According to state data, the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurant workers, have experienced the greatest job losses over the last year, with 329,100 of those jobs eliminated statewide since last October.


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