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Oswego County Unemployment Soars to Record High

This map from the State Labor Department shows sharply higher unemployment rates across the Upstate region in January.
This map from the State Labor Department shows sharply higher unemployment rates across the Upstate region in January.

Unemployment in Oswego County touched a 23 year high in January as joblessness staged its seasonal surge across Upstate New York.

The New York State Labor Department reported the unemployment rate in Oswego County hit 12.7% in January.  That rate has been seen twice before in the county and both times it was in winter, when unemployment tends to be highest each year.

Oswego County was not alone.  Most Central New York counties hit jobless rates that were among the highest ever for a January.

The unemployment rate measures only those people who are working or who are actively looking for work.

In this case, both measures recorded significant changes.  The number of county residents holding a job fell by 800 during the month, to 50,400.  The number of people looking for work increased by 900 during the month, to 7,300.

The Labor Department said that job losses were largest in the leisure and hospitality sector, showing the seasonal decline in tourism.  More than 1,000 fewer people were working in the sector in January as compared to the year before.  The financial and manufacturing sectors also saw lower job levels when compared to 2012.

Job gains year-to-year were seen in education and health, government, and trade, transport and utilities.

Fewer county residents were reported to be working in January, 2013 than were working two and three years ago, when the recession was at full rampage across the nation.