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Jobless rate in region drops to 4 percent in December

Jobless rate in region drops to 4 percent in December

The Capital Region’s unemployment rate dipped to 4 percent in December, significantly lower than the

The Capital Region’s unemployment rate dipped to 4 percent in December, significantly lower than the state average, as nonfarm jobs here reached an estimated 465,200, state analysts said Tuesday.

The tally of private-sector jobs statewide hit 7.88 million in December, a new all-time high, the state Department of Labor reported. Unemployment, meanwhile, decreased statewide from 5.6 percent in December 2014 to 4.7 percent in December 2015, with metro areas ranging from 3.4 percent (Ithaca) to 6.8 percent (Watertown). The state jobless numbers are similar to nationwide results: 5.4 percent in December 2014 and 4.8 percent in December 2015.

In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area, the jobless rate dropped from 4.4 percent in December 2014 to 4.0 percent last month.

December 2015 unemployment rates were reported as follows for each county within the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan area:

-- Albany 3.8 percent.

-- Rensselaer 4.2 percent.

-- Saratoga 3.8 percent.

-- Schenectady 4.1 percent.

- Schoharie 5.2 percent.

Fulton and Montgomery counties, which are near but not included in the Albany metro area, last month saw unemployment rates of 5.9 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.

Also nearby, the Glens Falls metro area — Washington and Warren counties — reported 56,800 people employed and a 5.4 percent jobless rate.

The state calculates employment and unemployment totals by conducting payroll and household surveys, respectively, and analyzing the results using a federally prescribed formula.

The number of jobs in a given county or metro area is not the same as the number of people employed: People are counted as employed in the county where they live, rather than the county where they work. Meanwhile, their employment is not counted as a job if they are self-employed or if they work in many agricultural roles.

For that reason, there are only 434,000 people counted as employed in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro in December 2015, even as there are 465,200 jobs here — commuters hold some of those jobs.

The leading employment sector in the area is government, providing 22 percent of the jobs. Following that, according to the Department of Labor, are:

-- Education and health services, 21 percent.

-- Trade, transportation and utilities, 17 percent.

-- Professional and business services, 12 percent.

-- Leisure and hospitality, 8 percent.

-- Manufacturing, 5 percent.

-- Financial activities, 5 percent.

-- Construction, natural resources and mining, 4 percent.

u Other services, 4 percent.

u Information, 2 percent.

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