OSWEGO, NY – As the region digs out of the relentless winter snow, federal, state and local jobs and unemployment data for January show a bright spot as the economy – even in Oswego County – continues its assiduous dig out of the 2008 recession.
According to New York State Department of Labor statistics released Tuesday, while Oswego County’s January numbers of 9.7 percent trailed the local region, the rate was 2.4 points lower than the county posted in January 2013.
The Syracuse metropolitan statistical area which includes Oswego, Onondaga and Madison counties came in at an average of 7.4 percent, its lowest January rate since 2008.
January 2013 Oswego County’s unemployment was calculated at 12.1 percent, and the statistical area was 9.3 percent.
With a high of 12.8 percent in 2011 and low of 7.2 percent in 2006, the average January rate over the last 10 year span for Oswego County was 8.4 percent, showing recent improvement for toward pre-2008 unemployment figures.
The county’s overall annual average for 2013 was posted at 9.5 percent, the first time the annual average has dipped below double-digits since 2009.
Going back to 1990, the lowest annual rate for Oswego County was calculated at 4.8 percent in 2000, based on DOL historical data.
Even the north country region – including Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, which typically lags behind the rest of the state, also posted lower unemployment rates for January 2014 than in 2013.
The state rate reported for January was 6.8 percent which was slightly above the national rate of 6.6 percent.
The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 households in the state.
Fueling the slow but steady recovery, the DOL announced last week that New York State’s economy added 5,400 private sector jobs during January 2014.
“This raised New York State’s private sector job count to 7,529,200, an all-time high. The state’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.0 percent to 6.8 percent in January 2014, its lowest level since December 2008, according to preliminary figures,” the March 6 announcement said.
Job growth continues to be greatest in educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and transportation utilities.
Meanwhile sectors with the greatest losses in the month of January include government, manufacturing and construction, according to the DOL.
“In addition, the annual federal revision of jobs data known as “benchmarking” increased previously reported jobs numbers. Since the beginning of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, the New York State economy has added 426,600 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 32 of the past 37 months,” according to the DOL press release.
The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more information becomes available the following month.
“The state’s economy added 5,400 private sector jobs, reaching another all-time high in January,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, DOL deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics. “This, coupled with federal benchmarking revisions, has shown the economy to be even stronger than we thought.”