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Unemployment claims near 91,000 across Capital Region amid COVID-19

Unemployment claims near 91,000 across Capital Region amid COVID-19

Unemployment claims near 91,000 across Capital Region amid COVID-19
From a Regional Food Bank drive-thru event May 14 in Schuylerville
Photographer: Erica Miller/Staff Photographer

ALBANY — Across the seven-county Capital Region, 90,985 people have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down large parts of the state’s economy amid the worsening COVID-19 crisis.

That’s 18.9% of the 480,800 people whom the state Department of Labor tallied as employed in the seven counties in January.

These counties had unemployment rates of 4% to 6% in January.

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 May 23.

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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 25,385
  • Fulton 21,700 4,712
  • Montgomery 21,300 5,197
  • Rensselaer 79,000 13,957
  • Saratoga 116,300 22,567
  • Schenectady 74,000 16,953
  • Schoharie 14,200 2,214
  • N.Y. State 9.14M 2.47M
  • Six of these seven counties and the state as a whole saw a decrease in claims filed the week ended May 23 over the week ending May 16.

Additionally, an unknown number of Capital Region residents are unemployed now but not counted in the totals, as they either didn’t file for unemployment benefits or attempted to file but were unsuccessful.

The frequently cited unemployment rate is a statistic different from number unemployment insurance claims — it is calculated with a formula devised by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state Department of Labor said Wednesday that the preliminary April 2020 unemployment rate was 15% statewide, compared with 3.6% in April 2019.

All but one county in the greater Capital Region was lower than the statewide percentage. Here are their jobless rates calculated for April 2020 and April 2019:

  • Albany 11.8% 3.3%
  • Fulton 15.2% 4.7%
  • Montgomery 14.7% 4.8%
  • Rensselaer 12.3% 3.4%
  • Saratoga 13.2% 3.1%
  • Schenectady 13.3% 3.5%
  • Schoharie 11.9% 4.2%

Statewide, the April 2020 jobless rate ranged from 10.1% in Tompkins County to 21.9% in Niagara County.

 

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