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New York State Department of Labor

NYS's Private Sector Jobs Reached an All-Time High and Unemployment Rate Fell to an All-Time Low in 2019

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Albany, NY (March 12, 2020) -

Newly revised data from the U.S. Department of Labor show that New York’s economic expansion continued in 2019. Last year, the state’s annual private sector job count reached 8,297,000, a new record high, and the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.0%, a record low. This marked New York’s 10th straight year of job growth, the longest stretch on records dating back to 1940.

In January 2020, the private sector job count in New York State grew by 30,500, or 0.4%, to 8,354,100, a new monthly record, according to preliminary job figures. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 1,256,000 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 95 of the past 109 months. In addition, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 3.9% to 3.8% in January 2020, a new record monthly low.

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.

“In 2019, New York State’s economy continued to grow, reaching an all-time high annual private sector job count and a record low annual unemployment rate. This expansion continued in January 2020 with the state reaching 8,351,200 private sector jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.8%, both new monthly records,” 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, January 2019 versus January 2020.

 

Jobs data are revised at the end of each year for all states and the nation as more complete information becomes available from employers’ Unemployment Insurance records. This process is called “benchmarking” and is federally mandated. For more details, see Annual Benchmark Analysis (opens in new window).

Labor force data, including unemployment rates, are also revised at the end of each year, using methods established by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revised labor force data show that New York State’s annual average unemployment rate dipped from 4.1% in 2018 to 4.0% in 2019, its lowest annual average rate on record (current records date back to 1976).

United States and New York State: December 2019 – January 2020

1) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the month-over-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
December 2019 – January 2020
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:

Net
%
Net
%
United States +225,000 +0.1% +206,000 +0.2%
New York State +33,500 +0.3% +30,500 +0.4%

 

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 from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

In January 2020, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 3.9% to 3.8%, its lowest rate on records dating back to 1976. New York City’s unemployment rate decreased over the month from 3.6% to 3.5% in January 2020, also a new record. Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate decreased from 4.1% to 4.0%.

The number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased, from 371,500 in December 2019 to 364,900 in January 2020.


Unemployment Rates (%)*
*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  January 2020* December 2019 January 2019
United States 3.6 3.5 4.0
New York State 3.8 3.9 4.0
New York City 3.5 3.6 4.3
NYS, outside NYC 4.0 4.1 3.8

 

United States, New York State and Metro Areas: January 2019 – January 2020

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The following table compares the changes in total nonfarm and private sector jobs occurring in the United States, New York State and metro areas in the State, between January 2019 and January 2020.


Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs by Area
January 2019 – January 2020
  Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)
Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
Note: The sum of sub-state area job estimates will usually differ from the New York State total. This is because the State total is calculated separately from the sub-state areas and is estimated based on an independent sample.
 
Net
%
Net
%
United States +2,223,000 +1.5% +2,056,000 +1.6%
New York State +84,700 +0.9% +83,300 +1.0%
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy +5,100 +1.1% +4,800 +1.3%
    Binghamton -400 -0.4% -400 -0.5%
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls -3,000 -0.5% -3,700 -0.8%
    Dutchess-Putnam +700 +0.5% +700 +0.6%
    Elmira -500 -1.4% -600 -2.0%
    Glens Falls +700 +1.3% +400 +1.0%
    Ithaca -200 -0.3% -100 -0.2%
    Kingston +500 +0.8% +600 +1.3%
    Nassau-Suffolk +7,900 +0.6% +9,100 +0.8%
    New York City +76,700 +1.7% +66,800 +1.7%
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester -5,500 -0.8% -3,400 -0.6%
    Rochester -500 -0.1% -500 -0.1%
    Syracuse +1,900 +0.6% +2,000 +0.8%
    Utica-Rome -1,300 -1.0% -1,000 -1.1%
    Watertown-Fort Drum -100 -0.3% -300 -1.0%
    Non-metro counties +1,800 +0.4% +1,400 +0.4%

 

Job highlights since January 2019:

  • Seven metro areas in New York State added private sector jobs since January 2019. The most rapid growth was in these metro areas:
    • New York City (+1.7%)
    • Albany-Schenectady-Troy (+1.3%)
    • Kingston (+1.3%)
    • Glens Falls (+1.0%)
    • Nassau-Suffolk (+0.8%)
    • Syracuse (+0.8%)
  • Non-metro counties in New York added 1,400 private sector jobs over the past year.
  • Over the past year, eight metro areas in the state lost private sector jobs: Elmira (-2.0%), Utica-Rome (-1.1%), Watertown-Fort Drum (-1.0%), Buffalo-Niagara Falls (-0.8%), Orange-Rockland-Westchester (-0.6%), Binghamton (-0.5%), Ithaca (-0.2%) and Rochester (-0.1%).

Change in jobs by major industry sector: January 2019 – January 2020

1) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between January 2019 and January 2020.

Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector
January 2019 – January 2020

*Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.
Sectors with Job Gains or No Change:
Educational & Health Services* +69,500
Professional & Business Services +30,000
Other Services +6,000
Government* +1,400
Information +600
Sectors With Job Losses:
Trade, Transportation & Utilities -14,300
Manufacturing -3,600
Construction -2,500
Leisure & Hospitality -2,100
Financial Activities -200
Natural Resources & Mining -100

 

Highlights among New York State sectors with job gains since January 2019:

  • Private educational and health services added the most jobs (+69,500) of any major industry sector over the past year. Sector job gains were focused in health care and social assistance (+66,200), especially ambulatory health care (+32,100).
  • Over the past year, the second largest employment gain was in professional and business services (+30,000). Most sector job gains occurred in administrative and support services (+20,600) and professional, scientific and technical services (+8,300).

Highlights among New York State sectors with job losses since January 2019:

  • In January 2020, the largest decline in jobs occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (-14,300). Sector job losses were greatest in retail trade (-12,700), especially general merchandise stores (-6,800).
  • The second largest jobs loss was in manufacturing (-3,600), with losses focused in durable goods (-2,100), especially machinery manufacturing (-1,200).

 

Unemployment Insurance Benefits: January 2020

1) Regular Unemployment Insurance:

For New York State, during the week that included January 12, 2020, there were 136,333 people (including 125,058 who live in the state) who received benefits under the regular Unemployment Insurance program.

In January 2020, New York State residents who received Unemployment Insurance benefits made up 34% 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 NYS Department of Labor’s 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 website.

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.

In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data are preliminary and subject to revision. Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or domestic workers in private households.

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. The state’s unemployment rate is based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York each month.

 

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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