NY Jobless Rate Climbs Due to ConEd Lockout; NJ Rate Hits Highest Mark Since 1977

New York’s unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in July as private-sector jobs in the state dipped slightly from the previous month due to a labor dispute that resulted in a month-long lockout of local utility employees.

The dispute has been resolved, and Consolidated Edison Inc.’s 8,500 unionized employees are back at work. But in July, they weren’t counted as employed. As a result, the state lost 4,100 private sector jobs during the month, a decline of 0.1%, the State Department of Labor said.

Prior to July, the state had been adding jobs despite a rising unemployment rate. The same scenario occurred nationally last month and in Connecticut, where the jobless rate rose to 8.5% while the state added 5,100 jobs.  The two measures are derived through different surveys, one of households and the other of employer payrolls. Reasons as to why they may not add up range from more people entering the labor force and not finding a job right away to people holding multiple jobs.

According to non-seasonally adjusted figures, New York City still posted year-over-year private sector job growth of 2.2%. That outpaces the nation, which had a growth rate of 1.8%.

Much of the gain was seen in business and professional services, which includes accounting and law firms. The sector “has really been the driver of this upturn,” said James Brown, labor market analyst with the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, other sectors, such as financial activities and manufacturing, posted year-over-year declines.

The unemployment rate in the city in July was flat from the previous month at 10%. Outside the city, the jobless rate rose to 8.4% from 8.2% in June. The statewide unemployment rate in June was 8.9%.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate rose .2 percent to 9.8 percent in July, hitting its highest point in 35 years.

The state’s jobless rate has now been at or above 9 percent for 38 consecutive months. The state had 12,000 fewer non-farm jobs in July than it did in June.

The rate last reached 9.9 percent in April 1977.


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