Capital Region's unemployment rate down a full percentage point compared to a year ago

washington dollar bill green shadeFollowing up on last week's bit that the state's unemployment rate hit a four-year low last month: The Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in May, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday. That's down from 7.4 percent in May 2012.*

The state's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May.**

The unemployment rates in each of the metro's counties were down almost a full percentage point -- or more:

county: May 2013 / May 2012
Albany: 6.3 / 7.3
Rensselaer: 6.5 / 7.7
Saratoga: 5.8 / 7.0
Schenctady: 7.0 / 7.9
Schoharie: 8.0 / 8.6

As if often mentioned, the unemployment rate includes people who are actively looking for a job. So it doesn't necessarily provide a picture of how many people have become frustrated and stopped looking, chosen a different path because employment prospects aren't good (examples: going to school, staying home with a kid), are under-employed -- or some combination of all the above.

Lowest rate: The county with the lowest unemployment rate in May was Tompkins County, which includes Ithaca, at 5.1 percent. Coincidentally, it was also named the "smartest" city in the nation recently by a company that does online brain training games. [Syracuse.com via Gannett Albany Watch]

Meahwhile: 70 percent of American employees are not "engaged" at work, according to a Gallup report. [CBS News via TMN]

* Unemployment rates for counties are not seasonally adjusted, so the best comparison is the same month in previous years.
** State rate is seasonally adjusted.

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