State Labor Department Releases Preliminary December 2018 Area Unemployment Rates

The New York State Department of Labor today released preliminary local area unemployment rates for December 2018. All metro areas experienced a reduction in the unemployment rate from the same month in 2017. Rates are calculated using methods prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The State’s area unemployment rates rely in part on the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

From December 2017 to December 2018, the State’s private sector employment increased by 120,600. In December 2018, the number of private sector jobs in the State was 8,243,700, which is a new all-time high. The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers, which is conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9% in December 2018.

Local Area Unemployment Rates* (%) 
December 2017 and December 2018 

(not seasonally adjusted)
*Data are preliminary and subject to change.
December
2018*
December
2017
Metro Areas
3.7
4.3
    Albany-Schenectady-Troy
3.3
4.2
    Binghamton
4.3
5.5
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls
4.1
5.5
    Dutchess-Putnam
3.1
4.1
    Elmira
4.0
5.5
    Glens Falls
4.4
5.8
    Ithaca
3.0
4.0
    Kingston
3.4
4.5
    Nassau-Suffolk
3.1
4.2
    New York City
3.9
4.0
    Orange-Rockland-Westchester
3.3
4.4
    Rochester
3.8
5.0
    Syracuse
4.0
5.2
    Utica-Rome
4.3
5.5
    Watertown-Fort Drum
5.6
7.3
  Non-metro counties
4.4
5.9

The data in the preceding table are not seasonally adjusted, which means they reflect seasonal influences (e.g., holiday and summer hires). Therefore, the most valid comparisons with this type of data are year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, December 2017 versus December 2018. 

Unemployment Rate Highlights in December 2018 (not seasonally adjusted):

  • The counties in New York State with the lowest unemployment rates in December 2018 include:
    • Columbia County (2.9%)
    • Nassau County (3.0%)
    • Tompkins County (3.0%)
    • Dutchess County (3.1%)
    • Albany County (3.2%)
    • Putnam County (3.2%)
    • Rockland County (3.2%)
    • Saratoga County (3.2%)
    • Suffolk County (3.2%)

See County Unemployment Rates (opens in new window) for current unemployment rates for all 62 counties in New York State.

Labor force data for the current month are preliminary and subject to revision as more information becomes available the following month. Revised estimates for prior months are available at: labor.ny.gov/stats/LSLAUS.shtm

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are the most up-to-date estimates of persons employed and unemployed by place of residence. Estimates are available for New York State, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties and municipalities with population of at least 25,000. 

See State and Area Unemployment Rates
See Unemployment Rate Map
See Jobs and Unemployment Fact Sheet