City Unemployment Rate Calm Before Storm

The city and state September unemployment rates showed little change from August, a surprising turn considering the troubling events in the local economy and suggesting that a rise in unemployment may occur in the near future as mass layoffs hit Wall Street. From August to September of this year the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed at 5.8 percent in both the state and the city.

There has been, however, a substantial increase in the non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate from last September to this September, in the state and in each of the city’s five boroughs. The unadjusted state unemployment rate jumped from 4.5 percent last September to 5.6 percent.

In the city, the rate increased from 5 percent last September to 5.7 percent this September. The Bronx has the highest unemployment rate of any borough, at 7.7 percent, a 0.9 percentage-point increase from last September’s rate of 6.8 percent. Brooklyn followed the Bronx with a 6.2 percent unemployment rate, while Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island all had 5.1 percent unemployment rates in September.

State officials are more concerned with the year-over-year increase in unemployment throughout the state and the glacial rate of job creation. From September 2007 to September 2008, the private sector job market increased by only 11,200 jobs and the financial activities sector lost 10,400 jobs. The city recently altered its job-loss forecast, and is now predicting upward of 165,000 in job losses in the next two years.

City Unemployment Rate Calm Before Storm