New York gained jobs and saw a significant drop in the unemployment rate from December 2012 to December 2013.
The data released Jan. 28 by the state Labor Department showed the unemployment rate for Rockland, Putnam and Westchester at 5.1 percent in December 2013, compared to 6.9 percent a year earlier.
The three counties did better than the downstate area as a whole, a 10-county region where the unemployment rate was, last month, 6.7 percent—though that is still a statistically significant decline from the 8.2 percent unemployment rate at the end of 2012.
Ithaca is the only area in New York with a lower unemployment rate: 4.1 percent.
State officials were most pleased by the drop in the unemployment rate upstate, which suffered in the Great Recession and has been slow to recover.
Upstate New York's unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent from 8.4 percent year-over-year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Coalition co-leaders Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos, and Speaker Sheldon Silver cheered the news in a joint statement released Jan. 28:
“The local unemployment rates released today by the State Department of Labor are great news for Upstate New York. The numbers speak for themselves – the unemployment rate for Upstate New York dropped from 8.4% in December 2012 to 6.4% by the end of 2013. These figures prove Upstate New York’s economy is heading in the right direction and that our focus on revitalizing the region is delivering results. More needs to be done. This year, we will build on that work to deliver another on-time budget that creates jobs in every region, connects New Yorkers with new economic opportunities, and continues to make our communities more prosperous.”