Unemployment rate skyrockets in state, north country

Unemployment rate skyrockets in state, north country
(Source: MGN)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - The unemployment rate in the north country and the rest of the state skyrocketed in April, the first full month of New York’s COVID-19 shutdown.

In Jefferson County, the jobless rate was 16.9 percent last month, up 11.5 percent from the year before when it was 5.4 percent

Lewis County saw 14.4 percent unemployment in April, compared to 8.4 last year.

The jobless rate last month in St. Lawrence County was 14 percent. In April 2019, the rate was 5.4 percent.

Cheryl Mayforth with The WorkPlace of Jefferson County says the last time local numbers were this high was in 1990 and 1991, when the highest rate was 13.4 percent.

The tri-county region often has some of the highest unemployment rates in the entire state. That's not the case this time.

Other areas of the state, such as western New York, were especially hard-hit during the shutdown.

For example, Niagara's jobless rate hit nearly 22 percent in April, a 17 percent jump from the year before.

From April 2019 to April 2020, the state’s private sector employment count decreased by 1.8 million.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.1 percent to 14.5 percent in April 2020.

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