New York’s monthly employment data continue to show a striking regional divergence in job-creation trends. According to today’s Labor Department report, as of November, year-to-year statewide private sector employment growth in New York slightly trailed the national average — with the economic weakness concentrated in upstate New York.
The key trends from the November report are summarized in the chart below.
A more detailed regional picture of employment growth can be gleaned from the Labor Department’s handy map, below. Note the concentration of darker-shaded, lower-performing counties along most of the Southern Tier, the region that would benefit most from natural gas hyrdrofracking.
On a seasonally adjusted, month-to-month basis, the state created private sector jobs at just half the national rate, as shown below.
The unemployment rate story is the opposite: New York’s still-improving statewide rate is slightly higher than the national average — at 7.4 percent, vs. 7 percent for the U.S. as a whole — mainly because of a higher unemployment in New York City (8.5 percent) than in the rest of the state (which averages 6.6 percent). Despite its relatively economic stagnation, upstate has long had a relatively low unemployment rate due to a continuing decline in the number of unemployed workers still looking for work.