It's good news for Upstaters, bad news for Downstaters.
Despite the crushing recession, New York State's unemployment rate has gone down from 8.7 percent in June to 8.6 percent in July, the State Labor Department reported today. That represents a fall in the number of unemployed people across the state of nearly 20,000, from 851,100, to 835,000.
At the same time, New York City's unemployment rate grew from 9.4 in June 2009 to 9.6 in July 2009. Last year in July the city unemployment rate was only 5.4 percent.
With New York City excluded, the statewide unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 in July, from 8.2 the month before.
"This month's large increase in nonfarm jobs was due in part to federal stimulus spending," said Peter Neenan, the department's Director of the Division of Research and Statistics. "Stimulus-funded projects helped boost employment in the construction sector. In addition, there was a much larger-than-normal increase in government-funded summer youth hiring this year. In past years, public funds typically provided for about 25,000 summer youth jobs. This year with the addition of federal stimulus funds, a total of approximately 60,000 youth were placed in jobs this summer."