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New York’s jobless rate drops to 6.8% - lowest level since December 2008

ALBANY - New York State’s economy added 5,400 private sector jobs during January 2014. This raised New York State’s private sector job count to 7,529,200, an all-time high. The state’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.0% to 6.8% in January 2014, its lowest level since December 2008, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. In addition, the annual federal revision of jobs data known as “benchmarking” increased previously reported jobs numbers. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, the New York State economy has added 426,600 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 32 of the past 37 months.

The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more information becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York’s unemployment rate partly based upon the results of a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 households in the state.

“The state’s economy added 5,400 private sector jobs, reaching another all-time high in January,” said Bohdan Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics. “This, coupled with federal benchmarking revisions, has shown the economy to be even stronger than we thought.”

Jobs data are revised at the end of each year for all states and the nation as more complete information comes in from employers’ Unemployment Insurance records. This process is called “benchmarking” and is federally mandated. For more details, see: Annual Benchmark Analysis.

Labor force data, including unemployment rates, are also revised at the end of each year, using methods established by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revised labor force data show that New York State’s annual average unemployment rate fell from 8.5% in 2012 to 7.7% in 2013.

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month; for example, January 2013 versus January 2014.