ALBANY — Another month, another rock-bottom unemployment rate.
The jobless rate in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area was 3.3% in March 2022, the lowest of any March in a state Department of Labor database that dates to 1990.
The last several months have also seen new lows for that particular month, and December 2020 saw the lowest unemployment rate — 2.6% — of any month in the entire 32-year period.
The situation is similar in most of the rest of New York. The March unemployment rate for the state excluding New York City was 3.7%, the lowest for March in a database that dates to 1976.
New York City, where the economy took a bigger impact and has had a slower recovery from COVID, the jobless rate was 6.1% in March.
DOL reported the numbers Tuesday. They are preliminary, and not seasonally adjusted.
“Unemployed” people are those who are able, available and actively looking to work.
Part of the explanation for the low unemployment rate in the Albany metro area is that a significant number of people aren’t working and aren’t looking for work, having dropped out of the labor force temporarily or permanently during the COVID pandemic.
The labor force — the combined number of employed and unemployed people — stood at 451,700 in March 2022, down from 460,000 in March 2020, when COVID began to spread in New York.
For area counties, the jobless rates in March 2021 and March 2022 were:
- Albany 5.4% 3.3%
- Fulton 7.0% 4.8%
- Montgomery 7.3% 4.8%
- Rensselaer 5.5% 3.5%
- Saratoga 4.8% 3.0%
- Schenectady 6.2% 3.8%
- Schoharie 6.1% 4.2%
The statewide jobless rate was 4.7% for March 2022. Individual counties ranged from 2.7% (Tompkins) to 8.6% (Bronx).