NY’s unemployment rate rebounding to almost pre-pandemic levels

Economy

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Millions of Americans found themselves abruptly without a job in the spring of 2020 as COVID was beginning to tighten its grip on the nation. In its wake, COVID left post-pandemic economic recovery heavy on the minds of Americans and government officials at all levels.

Much of the focus has been on unemployment and the slow return of workers into the job force.

The state’s unemployment rates from April 2019, 2020, and 2021 show that many people have gone back to work since last year but there are still more unemployed now than there were two years ago.

Unemployment rate in local counties

CountyApril 2020April 2021
Chemung15.9%6.0%
Schuyler16.7%6%
Steuben15.3%5.7%
Tioga, N.Y.14.8%5.0%
Tompkins10.1%4.2%
Source: NYSDOL April 2020 Unemployment Report & April 2021 Unemployment Report

New York City has seen the least rebound. In April 2020 they had an unemployment rate of 15.5%. This year NYC’s average unemployment rate remains at 10.8%, while the average of all other metro areas is 5.5%. It’s nowhere close to NYC’s unemployment rate in April 2019 of 3.7%.

There’s a much smaller difference between all other metro-area unemployment rates comparing April 2021 to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The unemployment rate rose an average of 1.8% from April 2019 to 2021 for all metro areas besides NYC which fell far outside the average with a difference of 7.1%.

Stimulus checks: 72,988 direct payments remain uncashed in New York state

Unemployment rate in metro areas

RegionApril 2019April 2020April 2021
Metro areas3.6%16.3%8.0%
Albany-Schenectady-Troy3.3%13.6%5.0%
Binghamton4.2%17.1%5.7%
Buffalo-Niagara Falls 3.9%20.9%6.2%
Dutchess-Putnam3.2%15.4%5.0%
Elmira3.8%17.8%6.0%
Glens Falls4.4%17.1%5.6%
Ithaca3.2%11.0%4.2%
Kingston3.3%16.7%5.3%
Nassau-Suffolk3.1%17.5%5.4%
New York City3.7%15.5%10.8%
Orange-Rockland-Westchester3.3%15.7%5.4%
Rochester3.7%15.9%5.6%
Syracuse3.8%17.3%5.7%
Utica-Rome4.1%16.3%6.0%
Watertown-Fort Drum5.4%18.2%5.8%
Non-metro areas4.4%16.0%5.7%
Source: NYSDOL April 2020 Unemployment Report & April 2021 Unemployment Report

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