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Map: January 2016 Unemployment Rate

Map: January 2016 Unemployment Rate

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment numbers for New York State in New York State suggest the Hudson Valley economy going fairly strong, while the Tug Hill Plateau and the Adirondacks struggle to create jobs. I wonder if the particularly high unemployment rate in this region is in part due to the mild weather which has cut into snowmobiling, skiing, and other forms of winter recreation. The Western NY economy in contrast appears to be relatively strong in the month of January.

As a side note, in case your wondering why I am posting this data now, unemployment data in NY State is lagged about a month after the statistics are collected for processing. Unemployment numbers for January became available on March 3rd.

If you are interested in downloading the NYS Department of Labor Unemployment Data, you can get it from this month's press release.

For sake of contrast, here is the December 2015 numbers. Remember, these numbers are uncorrected for seasonal factors, and unemployment tends to increase after holiday retail and shipping jobs go away.

All Employees: Total Nonfarm in New York

December 2016 marked the greatest number of jobs ever recorded in New York State - 9.4 million. It's a significant increase in the number of jobs since the start of this graph going back to 1990 when there were only 8.2 million jobs, and when in the 1990 recession, the job count dipped down to 7.7 million. Our state has been gaining population in the past twenty five years, but we've also creating a lot of new jobs.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Total Nonfarm in New York [NYNA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 22, 2017.

Google Maps: State Minimum Wages in 2017

States have the ability to set a minimum wage above the federal $7.25 wage rate. New York's $9.70 minimum wage is one of higher minimum wages in the nation but by no means the highest.

Data Source:,%20Annual,%20Dollars%20per%20Hour&fq=Annual&am=Average&un=lin&dt=2017-01-01

NY State vs Federal Minimum Wage

Both the Federal Government and New York State set a minimum wage for workers. Right now the state's minimum wage is $9.70 (upstate) while the federal minimum wage is $7.25. This is the largest discrepancy between federal and state minimum wages, at least since 1968.

Data Sources:

U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Minimum Wage Rate under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act [STTMINWGFG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 22, 2017.

U.S. Department of Labor, State Minimum Wage Rate for New York [STTMINWGNY], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 21, 2017.

Manufacturing Employees in New York State

In 1990, approximately 1,012,300 New Yorkers worked in manufacturing. Since then many plants have closed, and only 443,300 manufacturing jobs remain in our state. These monthly numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Data Source:
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Manufacturing in New York [NYMFG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 22, 2017.

Google Maps: NYS Local Unemployment Rate, December 2016

This interactive map shows the 160 communities where Local Area Unemployment Statistics are generated. All 62 counties in New York have an unemployment rate calculated monthly, along with the 98 cities, towns, and villages with a population greater then 25,000. Monthly numbers are not seasonally adjusted, and in some regions of the state unemployment rises during certain periods of the year. You should only compare like months (e.g. October 2015 vs October 2016). You can download the data going back to 1970s here:

Google Maps: October 2016 minus October 2015 Unemployment Rate

Has unemployment gotten better or worse in the past year in most communities in our state? This map tries to answer that question. In most regions of the state the unemployment picture has gotten better with fewer people looking for work, but growth is uneven. The bright spots are Montgomery County/Amsterdam and Riverhead in eastern Long Island. On the other hand, Johnstown has seen it's unemployment rate increase, and unemployment has ticked up slightly in Niagara Falls, North Tonawada, and Lewis County.