Unemployment Decreases Half-Percent

The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County dropped a half-percent during the month of May.

According to the state Labor Department, the unemployment rate decreased from 8 percent in April to 7.5 percent in May. The unemployment rate in the county is also lower than it was last year. In May 2012, the rate was 8.2 percent, that is .7 percent higher than this year’s level.

The number of employed residents increased in May when compared to April. In April, there were 55,700 employed workers and in May there were 57,100. This is an increase of 1,400 or 3 percent. Six job sectors increased in employment in May. The largest increase in workers was in natural resources, mining and construction, rising by 14.3 percent with 300 more employees. Leisure and hospitality increased by 10.6 percent with 500 more workers. Trade, transportation and utilities increased employment by 2.3 percent; manufacturing rose by 2.1 percent; government workers went up by 1.9 percent; and education and health services jumped up by 1.2 percent. The only job sector with a loss in jobs in May was professional and business services, decreasing by 3.2 percent.

New York state’s unemployment rate fell from 7.8 to 7.6 percent in May, its lowest level since February 2009. In addition, the number of unemployed state residents fell by 18,300 to 729,800. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 households in the state conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition, the New York State economy added 5,000 private sector jobs in May. This raised New York State’s private sector job count to 7,449,700. 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.

“The New York state economy continued to show strength in May 2013 as the state’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since early 2009,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, state Division of Research and Statistics deputy director.

Professional and business services added the most jobs, 40,400, of any industry during the past year. The leisure and hospitality sector had the second largest increase in jobs, rising by 26,300.

During the past year, government lost more jobs, 18,500, than any other sector in the state. Manufacturing also lost employment during the last year, lowering by 13,300 jobs.