The headline sounds good — unemployment fell in Oswego County during September — but the underlying reasons for the drop paint a less positive picture.
The county’s jobless rate fell from 9.2% in August to 8.8% in September.
But that’s primarily because fewer people were in the job market, not because there were more jobs.
The state Labor Department’s survey finds that the number of people listed as employed fell by 500 during the month, to 54,800. But that was not matched with a corresponding rise in the ranks of the unemployed. In fact, the number of people listed as unemployed also fell by 300 jobs, to 5,300.
People are only listed as unemployed when they are without a job and are actively seeking a job. People who stop looking for work are not counted as unemployed.
The jobless rate for the three county Syracuse area, which includes Oswego County, fell to 7.5% as the labor market contracted there by more than 2,500 jobs and 500 unemployed people.
The statewide rate fell to 8.0% as the state lost more than 37,000 jobs.