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NY unemployment rate dipped slightly In December


Officials say the New York's unemployment rate dropped in December for the fourth month in a row, another indicator that the state is slow but sure economic recovery.

The unemployment rate was down to 8.2 percent in December from 8.3 percent a month earlier. The unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent upstate compared with 7.9 percent in November. It was at 8.8 percent in the New York City metro area, the same as in November. Nationally, the unemployment rate in December of 2012 was also 7.8 percent.

Career strategist Dan Moran with Next-Act of Colonie watches the job numbers - he says that employers are "more bullish" now when it comes to hiring.

State Labor Department analyst Kevin Jack adds the number of unemployed has dropped by 85-thousand statewide over the last four months.

The December unemployment rate in 2011 was 8.2 in the state. It was 9.1 percent in New York City and 7.5 percent upstate. Jack explains the New York City numbers follow an established pattern experts have tracked as regions recover from disasters.

Labor Department numbers were released Thursday: they also show the private sector job count rose between December 2011 and December 2012 in Syracuse and by 900 jobs, in Utica-Rome by 300 jobs, while The Binghamton area lost 200 private sector jobs.

The Dutchess-Orange metro market showed a gain of 900 jobs in a year's time, with government jobs declining and private-sector ones increasing, the latter by 1,500.

Additional statistics supplied by the Department of Labor:

For the 12-month period ending in December 2012, private sector employment in the Hudson Valley Region increased 5,600 or 0.8 percent. Employment gains were strongest in educational and health services (+3,400), professional and business services (+2,900), followed by trade, transportation and utilities (+1,800), other services (+900), leisure and hospitality (+800), and financial activities (+500). Job losses were mostly centered in natural resources, mining and construction (-3,000), manufacturing (-1,000), and information (-700). The government sector shed 2,500 jobs over the year.
Although the regional job market continues to expand, the December 2012 data came in a little weaker than expected. Private sector employment grew by 0.8 percent, year to year, adding 5,600 jobs – weakest December growth in 3 years. Job losses in construction (-3,000), manufacturing (-1,000) and information (-700) were steep. Combined, those three industries shed 4,700 jobs, with the construction sector accounting for about 64 percent of those losses. The construction industry continues to reel since the collapse of the housing market. Moving forward, a slew of construction projects in the New Year could bring about a reversal of fortune for the sector. The construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge and the Empire Resort project could create several thousand jobs, giving a much needed boost the region’s struggling construction industry

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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