Unemployment Down

Chautauqua County’s unemployment rate decreased by a half percent in February.

The unemployment rate decreased to 9.6 percent in February, falling from 10.1 percent in January. Even though the rate is lower than the previous month, it is still higher than what it was a year ago. In February 2012, the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent, according to information from the state Labor Department.

The job sector that had the largest job growth between January and February was financial activities, which increased 7.7 percent. Other job sectors that increased employment included natural resources, mining and construction, which increased 5.6 percent, government rose by 4.8 percent, and leisure and hospitality went up 2 percent. No job sector lost jobs from month-to-month.

Statewide, the final January private sector job count for New York state was validated and revised upward to 7,418,500, an all-time high. Included in this number are approximately 300,000 jobs added to New York’s economy since the start of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, making New York one of only seven states to have regained all jobs lost during the recession.

New York state’s unemployment rate remained at 8.4 percent. The unemployment rate, as determined by the federal government, is calculated primarily on the results of a telephone survey of 3,100 households (out of more than 7 million) in New York state.

”With the final January and preliminary February job numbers, New York remains one of only seven states in the nation to have recovered all of the private sector jobs lost since the last recession,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, state Division of Research and Statistics deputy director.

State job sectors that increased in employment during the last year included professional and business services, which added the most jobs with 37,500. Educational and health services rose by 27,800 jobs, which was the second largest increase during the past year.

The government sector lost the most jobs, decreasing by 15,000. Manufacturing also decreased employment in the last year, with a job drop of 13,300.