The economy in New York state continues to improve, though unemployment in the lower Hudson Valley remains high.
The State Department of Labor in its October job report announced that New York state added 5,900 private sector jobs in October and 110,300 private sector jobs in 2012.
The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent year to year to 8.7 percent. The number of unemployed fell by 17,500 to 830,600. New York’s private sector job growth was in line with the rest of the country, though its unemployment rate is 0.8 percent higher.
The unemployment rate in the Westchester-Rockland-Putnam area rose from 6.5 percent to 6.9 percent year-to-year. For 2012, the region’s average unemployment rate is 7.1 percent, while 2011 averaged 6.7 percent.
The Westchester-Rockland-Putnam region saw a 1.1 percent increase in job growth, gaining 6,400 jobs and 8,000 private sector jobs. Professional and business services gained 52,600 jobs, while educational and health services gained 37,900, consistent with earlier numbers.
Construction lost 12,400 jobs, while manufacturing lost 3,700 jobs. Information, which covers publishing, broadcasting and telecommunications, among other fields, lost 5,400 jobs.
Westchester has 447,800 people employed and 34,000 people unemployed, both increases from last year. The overall labor force in the lower Hudson Valley has increased year-to-year from 681,100 people to 695,300 people.
Johny Nelson, a labor analyst for the State Department of Labor, said that while the unemployment rate remains high, people are more confident about the job market.
“The labor force has been increasing significantly,” Nelson said. “Industry data has been improving. Now that people hear the job market is improving, they are becoming more optimistic and flooding the market with resumes and participating again. We are trending positively.”
At the recession’s peak, the unemployment rate in the lower Hudson Valley reached 7.9 percent in January and February 2010. The lowest unemployment rate recorded was 2.7 percent in December 1999.
Putnam and Rockland have two of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Putnam is second with 6.5 percent unemployed, while Rockland is fourth at 6.9 percent.
According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, per capita personal incomes in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland are also on the rise, but not back up to pre-recession levels.
Westchester’s per capita personal income in 2011 is $75,855, an increase from $73,504 in 2010, but below its peak of $77,741 in 2008.
Rockland’s per capita personal income in 2011 is $53,787, just below its 2008 peak of $53,682. In 2010, per capita personal income in Rockland was $51,544.
Putnam also experienced a healthy increase, from $52,071 in 2010 to $53,781 in 2011. In 2008, personal income peaked at $54,037.
In New York state as a whole, per capita personal income is at an all-time high, up to $51,126, from $49,119 in 2010. In 2008, income was $49,408.