May 22, 2013


Unemployment rate heads lower in April

Staff Reporter

Cortland County’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in April, falling to 8.2 percent from 9.4 percent in March.
But the rate was up slightly over the year — the unemployment rate in April 2012 was 8.1 percent — and every industry sector except one lost jobs or stagnated since 2012.
From March to April the number of employed Cortland County residents grew by 100 workers to 21,800, an increase of 0.5 percent.
But 700 fewer residents were employed compared to last year, a decrease of 3.1 percent.
The number of unemployed workers living in the county declined by 300 to 2,000 since March, a fall of 13 percent.
“For Cortland County, we’re still above our unemployment levels that we saw in the pre-recession years,” said Karen Knapik-Scalzo, a state Labor Department analyst based in Syracuse. “It seems like we have been seeing slower growth there.”
The county’s unemployment rates are above the state’s rate of 7.3 percent and the nation’s rate of 7.1 percent for April, Knapik-Scalzo said. The rates were not seasonally adjusted.
The total number of nonfarming jobs in the county fell by 800 positions, or 4.1 percent, to 18,900 positions since April 2012. Since March, no jobs were added or lost overall.
But the county has gained ground since the recession, said Knapik-Scalzo, noting that in April 2009 the county had 18,600 nonfarming jobs and in April 2010 it had 18,700.
“We’re better than we were during the lowest pit of the recession, but not where we want to be,” Knapik-Scalzo said.
Knapik-Scalzo added last year was a strong year for Cortland County and April 2012 had the highest amount of nonfarming jobs, 19,700 positions, since April of 2003.
Over the year, the manufacturing sector lost 300 posts, an 11.5 percent loss. But since March, the sector added 100 jobs, an increase of 4.5 percent. It had 2,300 positions last month.
Trade, transportation and utilities lost 200 positions in its sector, or 7.1 percent of its work force, since April 2012, totaling 2,600 jobs.
Government positions shrank by 6.5 percent, or 300 jobs, to 4,300 posts since 2012, and neither added nor lost positions over the month.
The leisure and hospitality sector alone added positions over the year, increasing its work force by 100 positions, or 3.8 percent, to 2,700 employees.
But over the month, leisure and hospitality lost 300 positions, or 10 percent of its work force.
“That could be related to some of the winter activities, ski hills and types of recreation that drop off into the spring months,” Knapik-Scalzo said.


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