The State Labor Department has released local area unemployment rates for September 2012, which are developed using a procedure determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. As reported in last week's jobs press release, the state's overall unemployment rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.9 percent in September. The state rate relies on the results of a telephone survey of 3,100 households (out of more than 7 million) in New York as a primary source of data.
In contrast, the USDOL's private sector job count, which is based on a survey of more than 18,000 employers, increased by more than 134,000 from September 2011 to September 2012. In addition, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 3.4 percent, from 87,996 to 85,018 during that time period. Due to its larger sample size, the payroll survey is considered a more reliable gauge of the state's economy
Unemployment rate highlights in September 2012:
The counties in New York with the lowest unemployment rates include:
•Tompkins County (5.7 percent)
•Hamilton County (6.3 percent)
•Yates County (6.6 percent)
•Ontario County (6.7 percent)
•Putnam County (6.7 percent)
The counties in New York with the highest unemployment rates include:
•Bronx County (12.1 percent)
•Fulton County (10.6 percent)
•Montgomery County (9.9 percent)
•Orleans County (9.9 percent)
Note: Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are the most up-to-date estimates of persons employed and unemployed by place of residence. Estimates are available for New York, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties, and municipalities of at least 25,000.
Unemployment in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls category rose from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 8.4 percent in 2012.