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December 20, 2018

NYS Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.9%, Reaches All-Time Low

State Economy Adds 5,200 Jobs, Reaches New Private Sector Employment High

New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in November 2018, reaching its lowest level on record (current records date back to 1976), according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, the number of unemployed New Yorkers fell in November, from 387,500 to 379,400, its lowest level since August 1988.

In addition, New York State’s private sector job count rose by 5,200, or 0.1%, to 8,231,100 in November 2018, a new, all-time high. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 1,137,000 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 82 of the past 95 months.

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 data become available the following month. The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“New York State’s labor market continued to expand in November as the State added 5,200 private sector jobs to reach a new, all-time high employment count. At the same time, the statewide unemployment rate fell from 4.0% to 3.9% in November, reaching its lowest level on record, and the state’s civilian labor force increased over the month to more than 9,750,000, also an all-time record,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

 

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month – for example, November 2017 versus November 2018.

 

United States and New York State: October – November 2018

1) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-month change in the total nonfarm and private sector job counts in the United States and New York State in October-November 2018.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
October – November 2018
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 
Net
%
Net
%
United States +155,000 +0.1% +161,000 +0.1%
New York State +6,000 +0.1% +5,200 +0.1%

 

2) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results of the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In November 2018, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.0% to 3.9%, reaching its lowest level on record. In addition, New York City’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.0% in November 2018, remaining at its lowest level on record.


Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  November 2018*October 2018November 2017
United States 3.7 3.7 4.1
New York State 3.9 4.0 4.7
New York City 4.0 4.0 4.4
NYS, outside NYC 3.8 4.0 4.9

 

United States, New York State and Metro Areas: November 2017 – November 2018

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The following table compares the over-the-year changes in the total nonfarm and private sector job counts occurring in the United States, New York State and metro areas within the State between November 2017 and November 2018.


Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs by Area
November 2017 – November 2018
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 
Net
%
 
Net
%
 
United States +2,449,000 +1.6% +2,390,000 +1.9%
New York State +116,900 +1.2% +114,600 +1.4%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy +1,500 +0.3% +1,300 +0.3%
    Binghamton -300 -0.3% 0 0.0%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls +3,000 +0.5% +3,000 +0.6%
    Dutchess-Putnam +2,300 +1.5% +2,400 +1.9%
    Elmira -300 -0.8% -300 -1.0%
    Glens Falls +300 +0.5% +300 +0.7%
    Ithaca +2,000 +3.0% +1,900 +3.3%
    Kingston +700 +1.1% +900 +1.8%
    Nassau-Suffolk +12,300 +0.9% +12,600 +1.1%
    New York City +72,400 +1.6% +72,500 +1.8%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester +4,300 +0.6% +3,100 +0.5%
    Rochester +4,000 +0.7% +3,500 +0.8%
    Syracuse +300 +0.1% +100 0.0%
    Utica-Rome +300 +0.2% +600 +0.6%
    Watertown-Fort Drum +100 +0.2% +100 +0.3%
    Non-metro Counties +1,500 +0.3% +2,100 +0.6%

 

Job highlights since November 2017:

  • Thirteen metro areas in New York State added private sector jobs over the past year. The most rapid employment growth was in these metro areas:
    • Ithaca (+3.3%)
    • Dutchess-Putnam (+1.9%)
    • Kingston (+1.8%)
    • New York City (+1.8%)
    • Nassau-Suffolk (+1.1%)
  • Non-metro counties in New York added 2,100 private sector jobs over the past year.
  • Over the past 12 months, one metro area in New York State lost private sector jobs: Elmira (-1.0%).

Change in jobs by major industry sector: November 2017 – November 2018

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-year change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between November 2017 and November 2018.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector
November 2017 – November 2018
*Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.
Sectors With Job Gains:
Educational & Health Services* +51,100
Leisure & Hospitality +19,400
Construction +13,000
Other Services +12,800
Trade, Transportation & Utilities +10,000
Professional & Business Services +8,100
Financial Activities 2,700
Government* +2,300
 
Sectors With Job Losses:
Information -2,100
Manufacturing -400

 

Highlights among New York State sectors with job gains since November 2017:

  • Private educational and health services added the most jobs (+51,100) of any major industry sector over the past year. Sector job gains were mostly in health care and social assistance (+48,300), especially ambulatory health care (+30,500).
  • From November 2017 to November 2018, the second largest employment increase occurred in leisure and hospitality (+19,400). Most of the over-the-year job gains in this sector were in accommodation and food services (+16,000), especially food services and drinking places (+16,200).
  • The third largest increase in jobs over the past 12 months occurred in construction, which saw its employment count grow by 13,000. Sector employment gains were concentrated in specialty trade contractors (+9,900), especially other specialty trade contractors (+3,900) and building equipment contractors (+3,600).
  • Other services had the fourth largest increase in jobs (+12,800) between November 2017 and November 2018. Over-the-year sector gains were centered in religious, grantmaking, civic, professional and similar organizations (+7,600) and repair and maintenance (+2,800).

Highlights among New York State sectors with job losses since November 2017:

  • Over the past 12 months, information lost the most jobs (-2,100) of any major industry sector in New York State. Sector job losses were focused in publishing (-2,700) and telecommunications (-1,400).
  • From November 2017 to November 2018, the second largest employment decrease occurred in manufacturing, which lost 400 jobs. Over-the-year losses were focused in durable goods (-7,700), especially computer and electronic products (-3,800) and fabricated metal products (-1,800).

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits: November 2018

1) Regular Unemployment Insurance:

For New York State, during the week that included November 5, 2018, there were 95,142 people (including 86,652 who live in the State) who received benefits under the regular Unemployment Insurance program.

In November 2018, New York State residents who received Unemployment Insurance benefits made up 23% of the total unemployed.

Note: The responsibility for the production of monthly estimates of state and metro area nonfarm employment by industry moved from the Division of Research and Statistics to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), starting with the March 2011 estimates. More detailed information on the change is available on the BLS web site.

Many economic data series have a seasonal pattern, which means they tend to occur at the same time each year (e.g., retail jobs usually increase in December). Seasonal adjustment is the process of removing seasonal effects from a data series. This is done to simplify the data so that they may be more easily interpreted and help to reveal true underlying trends. Seasonal adjustment permits comparisons of data from one month to data from any other month.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments. Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or domestic workers in private households.

 

See State and Area Job Data (opens in new window)
See Labor Market Overview (opens in new window)
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet (opens in new window)

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