Economy
3:24 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Local Unemployment Rate at Lowest Level Since 2008

The unemployment rate in the Rochester area for November was 6.3 percent, that’s more than a full percentage point lower than this time last year.

The State Labor Department released preliminary unemployment rates Tuesday, showing that the number of unemployed people in the local area has dropped to its lowest level since late 2008.

Labor market analyst Tammy Marino says this month's figures are in line with a larger trend in the Rochester region.

"This actually continues a trend that began early in the spring this year. Throughout the past year employers have maintained a fairly steady but modest pace of hiring and, as a result, the local jobless rate fell to its lowest level since the onset of the recession."

Marino says the local job count typically peaks in the late fall each year, just before the cold weather hits.

"This is when we would see one final burst of hiring just before winter sets in. So with the arrival of the colder weather construction projects begin to wind down for the year and we also have the seasonal hiring which tends to bring about 4,000 seasonal jobs."

The state’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent for November. Marino says the Rochester area tends to run below the state and national averages, and that held true with last month's figures.

"This trend continued in November. At 6.3 percent we were considerably lower than the national average and we were also lower than the statewide average again."

The number of people looking for work in the Rochester area was 32,900 last month, about 2,000 less than at the same time a year ago.

The numbers show nearly 488,000 people were employed in the local area.

In other parts of the state, Tompkins, Putnam, Nassau and Saratoga counties had some of the lowest unemployment rates. Meanwhile, the highest unemployment rates were in Bronx, Jefferson, Kings, and Orleans counties.