Columbia-Greene Unemployment Numbers

Apr 9, 2012

NEW PALTZ, NY (WAMC) - Unemployment numbers for two Hudson Valley counties show that recovery has been difficult - but there is a glimmer of hope - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Last week the New York State Department of Labor released February unemployment data : about 2500 Columbia County residents were categorized as "unemployed" - the data shows a rise in the county unemployment rate to 8.5 percent in February, up from 8.4 percent in January and 8.2 percent in February 2011.

The numbers are similar in neighboring Greene County, with 2400 listed as unemployed. The February unemployment rate stood at 9.8 percent, up from 9.6 percent in January 2012 and 9.2 percent in February 2011. The statewide average is ,Director of the Workforce Investment Office at Columbia-Greene Community College, wonders about the accuracy of the local numbers.

Capital Region Labor Market Analyst James Ross cleared up any confusion surrounding the data, attributing errant numbers to a "transfer error." Career Specialist Dan Moran with believes now is a good time to find work - he emphasizes "small business is where the growth is."

Observers note that "growth" is a good sign, especially since the federal government has been tightening funding for Workforce Investment Act job placement programs: Mary-Alane Wiltse notes her agency is doing all it can to provide services - She says 6-hundred people registered for programs since Jan. 1st, up from 480 last year.

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