New York records largest drop in private sector jobs since 2009

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From the United States Department of Labor:
Statewide Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.5% in March 2020
Note: Data in this release are from the March 2020 Establishment and Household Surveys. While this data broadly reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and related public health efforts on the state’s labor market, it is important to note the March reference periods for both surveys occurred before many coronavirus-related business and school closures were implemented. In addition, data collection rates were lower than normal due to coronavirus-related challenges. As a result, many of the coronavirus-related job losses from March are not fully reflected in these job figures. Other datasets on the Department of Labor’s website may provide additional information on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York’s economy.

According to the preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Labor’s business and household surveys for March 2020, the number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased over the month by 42,900, or 0.5 percent, to 8,315,700.

This was the state’s steepest monthly employment drop since April 2009. Just over one-half of the monthly jobs decline occurred in leisure and hospitality (-23,300), mostly in accommodation and food services (-23,000).In March 2020, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 3.7% to 4.5%. This change (+0.8 percentage points) was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase, since at least 1976. In addition, the number of unemployed New York State residents rose by 73,900, while labor force levels dropped by 132,300 – both monthly records.

The number of private sector jobs in New York State is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York businesses conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data become available the following month.

The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in the State each month.

Note: Seasonally adjusted data are used to provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. Non-seasonally adjusted data are valuable in year-to-year comparisons of the same month – for example, March 2019 versus March 2020. 

United States and New York State: February – March 20201) Jobs data (seasonally adjusted):The table below compares the month-over-month change in total nonfarm and private sector jobs in the United States and New York State.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs
February – March 2020 Change in
Total Nonfarm Jobs:

(private sector + government)Change in
Private Sector Jobs:
 Net%Net%United States-701,000-0.5%-713,000-0.5%New York State-41,700-0.4%-42,900-0.5% 

2) Unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted): The State’s unemployment rate is calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a statistical regression model that primarily uses the results from the Current Population Survey (CPS).

The CPS contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. In March 2020, the statewide unemployment rate increased from 3.7% to 4.5%. New York City’s unemployment rate increased over the month from 3.4% to 4.4%. Outside of New York City, the unemployment rate increased from 3.9% to 4.6%.

These monthly increases were the largest on record for each area (current records date back to 1976). The number of unemployed New Yorkers also increased by 73,900 over the month, from 354,100 in February to 428,000 in March 2020, representing the largest monthly uptick on record.
Unemployment Rates (%)**Data are preliminary and subject to change, based on standard procedures outlined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

March 2020* February 2020 March 2019 United States 4.43.53.8 New York State 4.53.74.0 New York City 4.43.44.3 NYS, outside NYC4.63.93.8 United States, New York State and Metro Areas: March 2019 – March 20201) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):The following table compares the changes in total nonfarm and private sector jobs occurring in the United States, New York State and metro areas in the state, between March 2019 and March 2020.

Change in Total Nonfarm and Private Sector Jobs by Area March 2019 – March 2020 Change in Total Nonfarm Jobs:
(private sector + government)Change in Private Sector Jobs:

Note: The sum of sub-state area job estimates will usually differ from the New York State total. This is because the State total is calculated separately from the sub-state areas and is estimated based on an independent sample. Net%Net% 
United States+1,445,000+1.0%+1,230,000+1.0%
New York State+17,100+0.2%+12,900+0.2%    
Albany-Schenectady-Troy+4,800+1.0%+4,100+1.1%    
Binghamton-1,000-1.0%-1,100-1.4%    
Buffalo-Niagara Falls-2,900-0.5%-3,700-0.8%    
Dutchess-Putnam+700+0.5%+500+0.4%    
Elmira-300-0.8%-500-1.7%    
Glens Falls+600+1.1%+400+1.0%    
Ithaca-1,900-2.9%-2,000-3.5%    
Kingston+700+1.1%+800+1.7%    
Nassau-Suffolk+2,500+0.2%+3,100+0.3%    
New York City+22,800+0.5%+12,200+0.3%    
Orange-Rockland-Westchester-5,700-0.8%-3,900-0.6%    
Rochester-1,300-0.2%-1,200-0.3%    
Syracuse+1000.0%-200-0.1%    
Utica-Rome-1,200-0.9%-1,000-1.0%    
Watertown-Fort Drum-600-1.5%-500-1.7%    
Non-metro counties-2,600-0.5%-2,300-0.6% 

Job highlights since March 2019:Nine metro areas in New York State lost private sector jobs since March 2019:
Ithaca (-3.5%)
Elmira (-1.7%)
Watertown-Fort Drum (-1.7%)
Binghamton (-1.4%)
Utica-Rome (-1.0%)
Buffalo-Niagara Falls (-0.8%)
Orange-Rockland-Putnam (-0.6%)
Rochester (-0.3%)Syracuse (-0.1%)
Non-metro counties in New York State lost 2,300 private sector jobs over the past year.

Change in jobs by major industry sector: March 2019 – March 20201) Jobs data (not seasonally adjusted):The table below compares the change in jobs by major industry sector in New York State occurring between March 2019 – March 2020.Change in Jobs by Major Industry Sector March 2019 – March 2020*

Educational and health services is in the private sector.
Government includes public education and public health services.Sectors with Job Gains or No Change:Educational & Health Services*+32,200Professional & Business Services+25,400 Other Services+6,800 Government*+4,200 Construction+3,800 Natural Resources & Mining

Sectors With Job Losses: Leisure & Hospitality-24,600 Trade, Transportation & Utilities-16,500 Financial Activities-8,400 Information-3,300 Manufacturing-2,500 Highlights among New York State sectors with job losses since March 2019: The industry sector experiencing the largest over-the-year decline in employment was leisure and hospitality (-24,600). Within this sector, job losses were greatest in accommodation and food services (-22,200), especially food services and drinking places (-20,400).Trade, transportation and utilities (-16,500) had the second largest over-the-year job loss. Sector job losses were focused in retail trade (-13,800), especially clothing and accessories stores (-7,100).

Over the past year, the third largest employment drop was in financial activities (-8,400). Within the sector, most job losses occurred in finance and insurance (-4,300) and real estate, rental and leasing (-4,100). 

Note: The responsibility for the production of monthly estimates of state and metro area nonfarm employment by industry moved from the NYS Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), starting with the March 2011 estimates. More detailed information on the change is available on the BLS website.Many economic data series have a seasonal pattern, which means they tend to occur at the same time each year (e.g., retail jobs usually increase in December).

Seasonal adjustment is the process of removing seasonal effects from a data series. This is done to simplify the data so that they may be more easily interpreted and help to reveal true underlying trends. Seasonal adjustment permits comparisons of data from one month to data from any other month.In New York State, payroll jobs data by industry come from a monthly survey of 18,000 business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data are preliminary and subject to revision.

Jobs data by industry do not include agricultural workers, the self-employed, unpaid family workers or domestic workers in private households.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. The state’s unemployment rate is based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York each month.

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