More people looking for work?

tattered dollar billUpdated 10:20 am Friday

The state released last month's unemployment data today. The short story: the Capital Region's unemployment rate in October was 4.9 percent -- that's up from 3.6 percent in October of last year.

OK, so maybe that's not surprising given the way the economy's been going. But get this: the number of jobs in the Capital Region over that time period didn't change.


When it comes to unemployment rates, "unemployment" actually means "an estimate of the number of people who don't have a job but are actively looking for one." (Here's a little longer, more nuanced explanation from the state.) So, we're wondering if today's numbers indicate not just that more people are "unemployed" now versus last year, but that more people in the Capital Region have decided that they now need to find work versus last year.

Another possibility: people are coming to the area for jobs that were just recently created (for example, in nanotech), but people already here in traditional industries are losing their jobs. The number of jobs would (could) be a wash, but more people would now be looking for work.

(Updated: A labor department analyst said in the TU Friday morning the answer is probably: both.)

Admittedly, our handle on how this data is analyzed is a little shaky (we just had someone explain time series regressions and it was literally Greek to us). We know a lot of people in the AOA crowd have serious nerd skills (we say that with much admiration) -- is this speculation on base?

photo: Flickr user califrayray


I'm not fluent in nerd, so I'll be interested to read the analysis from the AOA gang.

In the meantime, if anyone needs their dirty clothes pulled out of their hamper and scattered around their room, let me know. My 9 month old has been desperately looking for new employment opportunities ever since mommy locked his hamper in the closet. He takes his work very seriously and is even willing to work pro bono. Tough times, tough times.

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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