Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7% in May, Lowest Level Since August 2007

The statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.7% in May 2016. This represented the state’s lowest unemployment rate since August 2007. New York’s unemployment rate was equal to the U.S. rate in May 2016. In addition, the number of unemployed New Yorkers also decreased over the month – falling from 476,600 in April to 461,800 in May 2016, reaching its lowest level since October 2007

New York State’s private sector job count declined by 19,600, or 0.2%, in May 2016. About half of the state’s private sector job losses in May were temporary, due to a strike in the telecommunications industry. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 794,700 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 56 of the past 65 months.

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. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

“Both the statewide unemployment rate and the number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased in May. The state’s unemployment rate fell from 4.9% to 4.7% over the month, its lowest level since August 2007. In addition, the number of unemployed state residents fell by 14,800 to reach its lowest level since October 2007,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor Division of Research and Statistics.

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month – for example, May 2015 versus May 2016.

U.S. and New York State: April – May 2016

1)         Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):

The table below compares the over-the-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State in April-May 2016.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs

April – May 2016

 

Change in

Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)

Change in

Private Sector Jobs:

 

Net % Net %
  United States +38,000 0.0% +25,000 0.0%
  New York State -15,000 -0.2% -19,600 -0.2%
  • Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted):

The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In April-May 2016, the statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.7%. The number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased from 476,600 in April to 461,800 in May 2016.

Unemployment Rates (%)*

 

May 2016*

April 2016 May 2015
  United States 4.7  5.0 5.5
  New York State 4.7 4.9 5.4
  New York City 5.1 5.4 5.7
  NYS, outside NYC 4.4 4.4 5.1

*Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

U.S., New York State and Metro Areas: May 2015 – May 2016

1)         Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):

 The table that follows compares the over-the-year change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs that occurred in the United States, New York State and metro areas within the State between May 2015 and May 2016.

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