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New York State Department of Labor

State Labor Department Releases Preliminary
March 2020 Area Unemployment Rates

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Albany, NY (April 21, 2020) -

Note: Data in this release are based partly upon the results of the March 2020 Current Population Survey of households. While these data broadly reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and related public health efforts on the state’s labor market, it is important to note the March reference period for this survey occurred before many coronavirus-related business and school closures were implemented. In addition, data collection rates were lower than normal due to coronavirus-related challenges. As a result, the scope of coronavirus-related unemployment from March is not fully reflected in these figures. Other datasets on the Department of Labor’s website may provide additional information on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York’s economy.

The New York State Department of Labor today released preliminary local area unemployment rates for March 2020. Rates are calculated using methods prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The State’s area unemployment rates rely in part on the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

From March 2019 to March 2020, the State’s private sector employment count increased by 12,900. In March 2020, the number of private sector jobs in the State was 8,315,700. The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers, which is conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.7% to 4.5%, in March 2020.

 

Unemployment Rate Highlights in March 2020 (not seasonally adjusted):

  • The counties in New York State with the lowest unemployment rates in March 2020 include:
    • Nassau County (3.7%)
    • Queens County (3.7%)
    • Tompkins County (3.7%)
    • New York County (3.8%)
    • Rockland County (3.8%)
    • Saratoga County (3.8%)
    • Albany County (3.9%)
    • Columbia County (4.0%)
    • Dutchess County (4.0%)
    • Richmond County (4.0%)

 

Local Area Unemployment Rates* (%)
March 2019 and March 2020

(not seasonally adjusted)
*Data are preliminary and subject to change.
March
2020*
March
2019
 
Metro Areas
4.3
4.1
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy
4.1
3.9
    Binghamton
5.6
5.0
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls
5.2
4.6
    Dutchess-Putnam
4.0
3.6
    Elmira
4.9
4.4
    Glens Falls
5.5
5.3
    Ithaca
3.7
3.5
    Kingston
4.2
3.9
    Nassau-Suffolk
4.0
3.6
    New York City
4.2
4.3
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester
4.1
3.7
    Rochester
4.7
4.3
    Syracuse
4.9
4.6
    Utica-Rome
5.1
4.8
    Watertown-Fort Drum
7.5
6.4
  Non-metro counties
5.8
5.3

The data in the preceding table are not seasonally adjusted, which means they reflect seasonal influences (e.g., holiday and summer hires). Therefore, the most valid comparisons with this type of data are year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, March 2019 versus March 2020.

 

See County Unemployment Rates (opens in new window) for current unemployment rates for all 62 counties in New York State.

Labor force data for the current month are preliminary and subject to revision as more information becomes available the following month. Revised estimates for prior months are available at: labor.ny.gov/stats/LSLAUS.shtm

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. These are the most up-to-date estimates of persons employed and unemployed by place of residence. Estimates are available for New York State, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties and municipalities with population of at least 25,000.

 

See State and Area Unemployment Rates (opens in new window)
See Unemployment Rate Map (opens in new window)
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet (opens in new window)

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