The end of 2013 also marks the end of benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans.

Checks from the federal government providing aid to those unemployed for more than 30 weeks stopped for nearly 1,000 people in Berkshire County this week. John Barrett is the director of Berkshire Works, an organization that provides career-driven services and unemployment assistance.

NYS Jobless Rate Drops

Dec 23, 2013
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A sign that New York State's economic fortunes are on an uptick — some encouraging numbers have been released by the labor department.

State officials say New York's unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 percent in October to 7.4 percent in November, the lowest level in nearly five years.  Career-transition expert Dan Moran with NextAct of Colonie says while the number may seem small, it is "significant."  "That's a nice, healthy drop in the unemployment rate, and as well the number of new jobs that hit the market. We are seeing real job growth."

A new report on the status of workers finds the period since the 2008 market crash may turn out to be a “lost decade” for New Yorkers, as wages stagnate and the average time for unemployment lengthens.

Sean MacEntee/Flickr

Vermont's unemployment rate has climbed to 4.6 percent in July, the third consecutive month reporting an increase in the state's rate.

New numbers just out on consumer confidence in New York State and employment nationwide are leading to cautious optimism from those who monitor the pulse of the economy.

The latest numbers on consumer confidence for New York State show some improvement. The latest New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment survey from Siena College’s Siena Research Institute shows that consumer optimism grew in June for the the second month in a row.

Mark Crawley / Flickr

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has voted to restore funding to a program designed to assist at-risk youth in finding summer employment that is facing cutbacks.


The monthly unemployment report shows Vermont’s remains far below the national rate.  But some say that’s because more people are dropping out of the labor force, not because they’ve found jobs.

New numbers indicate economic recovery from the Great Recession is underway upstate - with a few exceptions - for the most part, the latest jobs and unemployment numbers offer hope.  Dan Moran, with career management firm NextAct of Colonie, says the job market has been flat but consistent.

State Labor Department analyst John Nelson said the economy is showing signs of improvement. At 7.4 and 7.7 percent respectively, Albany and Saratoga rank among the counties with the lowest unemployment rates in New York. Tompkins County, at 5.8 percent, was the lowest in the state.

Burt Lum

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's Department of Labor says the state unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in January.

The department says the state added 4,700 jobs in January -- a sign of considerable improvement in the state's labor market.

The agency's research director says the data shows the state's job market is continuing on a modest but positive recovery path established in 2011.

New statistics released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from June 2011 to June 2012 Saratoga County experienced the largest employment growth in New York State at 3.1 percent, with strong job growth in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan Grattidge for his reaction to the positive numbers