March 14, 2012


Unemployment makes seasonal jump up

Staff Reporter

The local unemployment rate rose 1.9 percent in January, nearly identical to the figure in January 2011, according to the latest data the state Department of Labor released Tuesday.
Cortland County’s unemployment rate went up for the third straight month, to 10.5 percent, up from 8.6 percent in December.
January’s figure is up 0.2 percent from 10.3 percent in January 2011.
The increase from December is not unexpected, said Karen Knapik-Scalzo, a Syracuse-based labor analyst with the state Department of Labor.
“Typically in the first quarter is when we see the highest unemployment rates of the year,” she said.
The number of employed Cortland residents fell to 21,400 over the past year, down 600 people from 22,000 in January 2011.
That number is not seasonally adjusted.
Over the past year, government was the industry that shrank the most, while other industries had steady growth, Knapik-Scalzo, said.
“For Cortland, we’re seeing that the private sector is up over a year ago,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of growth in the leisure and hospitality industry.”
The only other industry that shrank over the past year was mining and construction, which lost 100 jobs in 2011.
At 18,800, the number of January nonfarm jobs in Cortland County was at its highest since January 2004, Knapik-Scalzo said.
Tompkins County continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, at 6.9 percent, although that is up 1.4 percent from December.
Over the past year though, Tompkins County lost 5 percent of its private sector jobs, the highest attrition rate in the state.
In the Syracuse region the unemployment rate rose 1.3 percent, from 8.2 to 9.5 percent.
At the state level, the economic recovery is slightly better than expected, despite a slight increase in unemployment in January.
From December to January, the state unemployment rate rose from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.
New York’s private sector is continuing its recovery from the recession.
After a revision of of the state’s job data, the Labor Department announced that New York recovered 90 percent of the private sector jobs it lost in the recession.
“Our new figures show that New York state’s economic recovery has been more robust than first calculated,” said Bohdan Wynnyk, deputy director of the division of research and statistics. “In addition, our state’s economy outperformed the nation with stronger job growth in 2011.”
States are federally mandated to review their jobs data at the end of each year as more complete information comes in.
Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 8.8 percent in January, up from 8.3 percent in January.
That number is down a full percentage point from January 2011.
State and national numbers are seasonally adjusted, which eliminates the seasonal fluctuations in monthly employment data, such as construction and tourism.


To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe