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Summer work brings unemployment rate down

TRI-COUNTY AREA—As we enter into the summer, seasonal work is bringing the unemployment rate in the area down.
The current unemployment rates for May from the New York State Department of Labor show a slow decrease.  For Yates County the rate is 6.4 percent in May, 6.8 percent in April, and 7.9 percent in March.  In Schuyler County the most recent unemployment rate in May is 7.8 percent, 8.8 percent in April, and 10.1 percent in March.  For Steuben County the May rate is 9.7 percent, 10 percent in April, and 11 percent in March.
Tammy Marino, associate economist for the DOL, said the decline starts in early spring and the lowest unemployment rates for the year are usually in July.  She explained that in the winter months unemployment is at the highest when wineries are not open as much and there is less construction happening.
“Typically, Yates has the lowest unemployment rate in the state,” added Marino.  However, as of May, Yates has the second lowest.  Saratoga County has a 6.3 percent unemployment rate.
Christian Harris, economist for the DOL covering the Southern Tier, said employment is increasing in construction, hospitality, and even a little in government.  He explained that in Schuyler, from April to May of this year, 100 construction jobs were created, specifically by stimulus finds.
Marino added this part of the state is not being affected as much by the current economic situation.  Two reasons she gave were because this area is not dependent on the auto or financial industries.  She also added that foreclosure numbers in this region are not as high as elsewhere in the state.

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