Chautauqua County Unemployment Rate Drops

The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County was .9 percent lower this February than it was a year earlier.

According to the state Labor Department, Chautauqua County’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in February, down from 9.3 percent last year. The number of unemployed people in the county dropped as well from last year. There were 5,700 unemployed residents in Chautauqua County in February 2013. This year there were 5,000, a decrease of 700 or 12.3 percent.

The number of employed residents decreased as well in Chautauqua County. In February, there were 55,300, a decrease of 600 or 1.1 percent, from last year.

Statewide, the job sector with the largest increase in employment from year to year is the educational and health services sector with an increase of 40,800 jobs. Six other job sectors increased in employment from year to year: trade, transportation and utilities added 27,500 jobs; professional and business services added 25,300 jobs; leisure and hospitality added 20,900 jobs; other services added 5,100 jobs; information added 3,800 jobs; and financial activities added 800 jobs.

Three job sectors decreased in the number of employees from last year statewide. Government lost 5,100 jobs, manufacturing lost 3,800 jobs and construction lost 3,200 jobs.

Statewide, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8 percent in February, a five-year low. In addition, the number of unemployed state residents fell from February 2013. This year there was 737,900 people unemployed as opposed to 828,500 last year. This is a decrease of 90,600 or 11 percent. The state’s unemployment rate relies in part on the results of a telephone survey of 3,100 households.

New York’s private sector job count grew by 12,800, or .2 percent, in February. The latest monthly gain raised New York’s private job count to 7,543,100, an all-time high. 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.

“New York State economy continued its upward trend, adding 12,800 private sector jobs in February. The state’s jobless rate held stead and remained at a five-year low,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

However, Chautauqua County has received some recent economic blows.

Premier Lakewood Inc., a Michigan-owned company located on 201 Winchester Road in Lakewood, will be closing its doors on May 6, displacing 75 employees. ConAgra announced it will be closing its Fredonia and Dunkirk facilities, with February as the projected date when the plants close completely, putting more than 400 people out of work. WCA Hospital officials have eliminated 15 non-bedside positions and RHI Monofrax, located in Falconer, laid off 27 workers at the end of March.