Jobless rate falls for area

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The Utica-Rome area’s unemployment rate fell from February to March, from 4.9 to 4.7 percent, according to a report from the state Department of Labor.

Unemployment in March was also down from a year prior — falling from 5.4 percent in March 2018, the department noted.

“Historically, from February to March, in the past 10 years, the jobless rate decreased ten times,” according to the report.

The department expects unemployment to continue to fall in April, as it has done each year for the last decade. The report attributes this to gains in leisure/hospitality, natural resources, mining/construction, and professional/business services due to warmer weather.

At 4.7 percent, the Utica-Rome metro had the 12th lowest unemployment rate in March out of the 15 metropolitan statistical areas in New York recognized by the department. The Ithaca metro had the lowest at 3.4 percent, while the Watertown-Fort Drum area was ranked 15th with a 6.3 percent jobless rate.

Overall, Oneida County had a 4.5 percent unemployment rate in February, tying with Wayne, Green, and Clinton counties for 27th out of New York’s 62 counties, according to the report. Nassau County’s 3.3 percent is the state’s lowest, with Hamilton County’s 7.5 percent the state’s highest.

Oneida County’s 4.5 percent rate in March was down from 4.6 percent in February, and down from 5.2 percent in March 2018. Unemployment rates for other area counties were:

Madison County — 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in February and down from 6.1 percent in March 2018.

Lewis County — 7.2 percent, up from 7.1 percent in February and down from 7.8 percent in March 2018.

Herkimer County — 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in February and down from 6.4 percent in March 2018.

Across the Mohawk Valley — including Oneida, Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, Montgomery, and Fulton counties — the jobless rate in March was 4.9 percent, the second highest out of the state’s 10 regions, according to the report.

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