Turning of the tide?

capital region unemployment

The Capital Region unemployment rate since the start of the recession.

The New York State Department of Labor today reported that the Capital Region's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in November, down .3 percent compared to October. The rate was 5.3 percent in November 2008.*

The number that caught our eye this month was the raw number of people employed. The labor department reports that 419,900 people were employed in the Capital Region in November -- that's almost 11,000 fewer people with jobs than a year ago.

The state unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in November, down .3 percent from October (it was 6.1 percent in November 2008.) The national unemployment rate was 9.4 percent - down .1 percent from October (it was 6.5 percent a year ago).

* Capital Region data is not seasonally adjusted.


Great. However most of you realize that after unemployment benies run out you are no longer counted as unemployed. At least 3 of my college educated friends are no longer counted as unemployed yet they have no job. I'm interested if any readers have friends in the same boat...

That's not accurate... You're counted as unemployed so long as you're actively looking for a job. The rate has nothing to do with unemployment benefits.

@ Chris C-----How does the Dept of Labor (or anyone) get a count of the number of people who are actively looking for a job? There is no central registry of such people. Also, some people who are actively looking for a job ARE employed; they are looking for a different job.

Just wondering how the data are compiled if not based on those who are receiving benefits.

@KM: From the state labor department press release (all the way at the bottom):

"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. Jobs data for New York are obtained from a survey of 18,000 business establishments. Jobs data exclude agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers and domestic workers in private households."

"Statistical regression models" is not very illuminating. (Not a reproach to you, Greg- I am just curious about where the numbers come from.)

In reality I guess the unemployment figure is more meaningful comparatively than absolutely. That is, us compared to the state/country as a whole; this month compared to the same month a year ago.

KM, the DOL (I think specifically the BLS) surveys 60,000 (I believe, could be wrong on the exact number) households a month to determine country-wide unemployment numbers. 25% of these households are rotated out and replaced with fresh ones, so each surveyed household is in the pool for four months at a time. They're returned to after a year or so, and then removed from the pool forever.

Unemployment is defined, as Chris said, by someone having actively sought employment. The other two categories an individual can fall into are employed and not a member of the labor pool. People who are not employed -- even if they have quit a job, been fired, or laid off -- are not considered unemployed if they aren't looking for work.

Great explanation--thanks!

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