City, State Unemployment Rate Climbs

Connecticut, Jersey job rates climb

Employment in New York has reached its highest level in more than 14-years, as 49,300 people lost their jobs last month, the State Labor Department reported Thursday.

New York’s jobless number is now  at 7%, just slightly below the national rate of 7.2%, the report said. In New Jersey, state officials said Wednesday that unemployment is at 7.1%. The state also experienced a full point rise in jobless claims from the month before. More and more people are also losing their jobs in Connecticut -- 11,500 in December alone. The state announced Friday that it's unemployment rate jumped 0.5 percent to 7.1 percent, slightly better than the national rate, but higher than New York.

“The loss of 11,500 jobs in December, along with the November figure showing a revised decrease of 9,800, reflects both the deepening recession as well as the new procedures instituted by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” state labor economist John Tirinzonie said in a statement. “This revision to the November preliminary estimate wasunusually large not only in Connecticut, but also in many other states. With this new change in estimationprocedure in place, we now have seen employment drop by 25,200 within the last quarter of 2008, or 86 percent of the total number of jobs lost for the entire year,” he added.

New York City’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent last month from 6.2 percent in November, the highest level the city has seen since April 2004, analysts said.

The New York Employee Confidence Index decreased 7.7 points to 35.9 in December, according to the latest Spherion Employment Report.

New York’s job losses now total 103,000 for the last three months of 2008.

Results from the New York Employment Report indicate that 84% of workers believe the economy is getting weaker – an increase of eight points from November.

The survey also found that 81% of those surveyed believe fewer jobs are now available.

The New York figures come the same day the U.S. Labor Department reported that new unemployment claims jumped more than expected last week, as employers continue to cut jobs at a furious pace.

Jobless benefit claims rose to 589,000 in the week ending Jan. 17.

Millions of laid off workers who have exhausted their unemployment insurance are seeking benefits under an emergency federal extension of the program authorized by Congress last June.

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