Capital Region

Unemployment claims near 100,000 in Capital Region amid COVID crisis

Rate of increase has slowed in seven-county area
Food distribution in Schuylerville last month
Food distribution in Schuylerville last month

Categories: Business, Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

ALBANY — Across the seven-county Capital Region, 3,450 people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ending June 6, bringing to 97,206 the total number seeking jobless benefits since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Unemployment has been rampant since Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down large parts of the state’s economy in an effort to thwart the spread of the pandemic. With the virus on the wane, the economy is gradually restarting, region by region, and some people are getting back to work.

In January, the state Department of Labor tallied 480,800 employed in the seven counties and reported unemployment rates of 4% to 6%.


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The Department of Labor released data Thursday tallying unemployment claims filed in individual counties from mid-March (when the COVID-19 crisis began to grip New York in earnest) through June 6.

Here is a breakdown of Capital Region counties, with estimated number employed in January and number of jobless claims since March 14:

  • Albany 153,500 27,159
  • Fulton 21,700 4,991
  • Montgomery 21,300 5,561
  • Rensselaer 79,000 14,876
  • Saratoga 116,300 24,102
  • Schenectady 74,000 18,161
  • Schoharie 14,200 2,356
  • N.Y. State 9.14M 2.65M

All seven of these counties and the state as a whole saw a more than 50% decrease in claims filed the week ending May 30 over the week ending May 23. Each saw a small increase in the week ending June 6 over the week ending May 30.

Since mid-March, the hardest-hit industry sectors have been accommodation/food services (411,240 claims statewide), retail trade (305,213), health care/social assistance (290,088), administrative and support services (211,670) and construction/utilities (192,844).


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