County’s Jobless Rate Jumps Above 10% Again

<br />10 years of Oswego County's unemployment rate.  Click the image to see a full-sized version.
10 years of Oswego County's unemployment rate. Click the image to see a full-sized version.

Oswego County’s unemployment rate jumped past 10% last month and is the third-highest in the state.

The county’s June jobless rate of 10.2% is up six-tenths of a point from May and a full three and a half points higher than a year ago.

More county residents reported having a job in June, but they were more than matched by the number of people listed as unemployed. (Employment figures leave out the self-employed and farmers; unemployment figures track only those without jobs who are available to work and are looking.)

For June, 55,400 people were listed as employed.  That was up 500 (+0.9%) from May but down 1,200 (-2.1%) from June, 2008.  6,300 people were unemployed in June, up 500 from May and up 2,300 from June a year ago.  The ranks of the unemployed rose 8.6% from May to June and 57.5% from June last year to June this year.

The three-county Syracuse area, of which Oswego County is a part, saw its jobless rate rise to 8.6% from 8.0%.

Statewide, the state Labor Department said the 8.7% unemployment rate was the highest in 17 years.  Removing New York City, the 8.2% jobless rate is the highest in 26 years.  More than 200,000 jobs have been lost statewide in the last year, the department estimates.

Some of the job loss was seasonal — colleges reducing employment for the summer, for example — but ove rthe past year, losses in major categories such as financial jobs, construction jobs and manufacturing jobs have been severe.

If there’s a bright side, it’s this: “Nonetheless, the state lost jobs at a slower pace than the U.S.,” said Peter A. Neenan, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

Oswego County’s 10.2% jobless rate is the third highest in the state, exceeded only by Steuben County at 10.3% and the Bronx, normally the state’s hardest-hit county, at 11.7%.