In Lewis County, Dismay, Doubt About Unemployment Number


The number from the state labor department Tuesday could hardly have been worse: Lewis County had a 13 percent unemployment rate in February, the highest in the state, higher than it was in February 2012 and higher than it was in January.

"It's scary because it's saying we really need to work on improving jobs in Lewis County," said Ellon Grunert, a Lewis County reesident.

"It's not very good," added Lloyd Allen of Martinsburg. "I wish there were more jobs around. Actually, I'm unemployed."

It's the kind of number that travels fast, but in Lewis County Wednesday, not everyone was a believer.

According to the state labor department, it means Lewis County lost 200 jobs in February.

"We saw equivalent declines in both the public and private sector with losses of a hundred jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, and one hundred also in government in Lewis County," said Anthony Hayden from the state Department of Labor.

At the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency Wednesday, they couldn't come up with anywhere near the same number. The recent closing of Interface Solutions in Croghan accounts for about 35 of the jobs, but the rest - and especially the hundred government jobs lost - are a mystery.

"Two hundred jobs - I'd like to look into this a little more to figure out where these numbers come from," said Richard Porter, an official with the Industrial Development Agency.



Friday, December 9, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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