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What you need to know for 01/23/2017

State unemployment at 5-year low

State unemployment at 5-year low

New York’s unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent in December to 6.8 percent in January, the state

New York’s unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent in December to 6.8 percent in January, the state’s lowest level since December 2008.

The state Department of Labor reported Thursday that private sector jobs in New York increased by 5,400 in January, bringing the total private sector job count to an all-time high of about 7.5 million.

“The state’s economy added 5,400 private sector jobs, reaching another all-time high in January,” said Bohdan Wynnyk, deputy director of the Labor Department’s division of research and statistics. “This, coupled with federal benchmarking revisions, has shown the economy to be even stronger than we thought.”

New York added a total of 119,600 private sector jobs, a 1.7 percent increase, compared to January of last year.

But in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, government and private sector jobs decreased by 1,700, or 0.4 percent.

James Ross, the Capital Region’s analyst for the state Department of Labor, said that drop is mostly due to revisions in last year’s job count, which showed a decrease in the health care industry.

“Health care and social assistance was revised down by 3,000 jobs, but with jobs up in all other industries,” Ross said. “That is because of the uncertainty in the health care industry at the time with the Affordable Care Act. Also, a lot of hospitals have consolidated in the area.”

Ross stressed that the Albany area’s drop in jobs is not something to be concerned about. He expects that number to balance out over the next few months as the department receives more job data.

Industries in the state that experienced job losses include construction, manufacturing and government. Educational and health services added 37,500 jobs since January of last year.

Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office in 2011, the state has added 426,600 private sector jobs, according to the Department of Labor. The job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 state employers.

Nationwide, private sector jobs increased by 142,000 in January and the unemployment rate decreased from 6.7 percent in December to 6.6 percent in January.

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