economy

Unemployment In NY Falls To 4.6 Percent

Unemployment in New York fell in January from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent after the private sector increased its job count by 28,500, according to the Department of Labor.

The lower statewide rate was driven by a decline in New York City’s joblessness, which fell from 4.9 percent to 4.5 percent, its lowest level since 1976.

The low unemployment rate is not being felt everywhere: In Rochester and in the Dutchess-Putnam area jobs were lost in the last year.

Between January 2016 and January 2017, jobs in Rochester declined by 1,100, while 1,900 jobs were lost in the Hudson Valley counties.

Still, New York’s unemployment rate is now lower than the national rate, which stands at 4.8 percent.

“The State’s labor market continued to expand in January 2017. Not only did the statewide economy reach a new record high of more than 8,000,000 private sector jobs, but our state’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

Unemployment Rate Drops In November

New York’s unemployment rate dropped slightly last month as the state’s private-sector job count increased by 4,800.

The state unemployment at the same time fell from 5.2 percent to 5.1 percent last month, according to numbers released by the Department of Labor.

“The State’s labor market improved in November 2016. The statewide economy added 4,800 private sector jobs, while New York’s unemployment rate decreased from 5.2% to 5.1% in November,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

Unemployment had been ticking upward over the last several months in New York, but typically employers add more jobs in the lead up to the holiday season.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is lower than in New York, standing at 4.6 percent last month.

In Metro Areas, A Bump In Unemployment

Metro areas last month experienced an increase in overall unemployment, while non-metro areas in New York stayed flat, a report from the state Department of Labor found.

The report released on Tuesday shows metro areas in New York with a 5 percent unemployment, an increase from 4.7 percent in October 2015.

One of the biggest jumps was in New York City, where unemployment has increased from 5.1 percent last year to 5.6 percent.

In non-metro counties, the unemployment rate has been flat year over year at 4.9 percent, the report found.

The county with the lowest unemployment rate was Columbia County at 3.5 percent, while the Bronx had the highest last month at 7.7 percent.

Exelon Plans to Refuel FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba

Via our colleagues at TWC News in central New York:

There is another sign of hope for the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba, as current owner Entergy plans to proceed with refueling the facility.

Entergy had been planning to decommission FitzPatrick, until a last-minute purchase offer was made by Exelon, which owns two other nuclear plants in the area.

The sale was approved by the state Public Service Commission last week, but it still needs to be approved by federal agencies.

Entergy plans to refuel this January, as late as possible, but they expect the process to be done by the time the sale closes.

Officials say they remain prepared to decommission the plant if necessary, but they say that appears much less likely after last week.

NY Unemployment Increases For Third Straight Month

For the third month in a row, New York’s unemployment rate increased, according to numbers released on Thursday by the Department of Labor.

The statewide employment rate in October stood at 5.2 percent, an increase from September’s 5 percent unemployment rate. In August, unemployment stood at 4.8 percent.

In a release, the DOL put a rosier spin on the numbers, noting the state’s overall job count in the last year climbed 1.1 percent.

“Looking over the past year, the New York State economy has added 89,900 private sector jobs,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

But as E.J. McMahon at the Empire Center notes, the growth rate is lower than the 1.7 percent federal rate over the last 12 months.

Statewide Unemployment Ticks Upward

New York’s unemployment last month increased from 4.8 percent in August to 5 percent in September, the Department of Labor announced on Thursday.

The New York unemployment rate of 5 percent is the same as the overall nationwide unemployment rate of 5 percent.

The Department of Labor’s announcement, however, sought to put a rosy spin on the numbers, pointing to a year-over-year gain in jobs of 115,100 between September 2015 and last month.

Overall last month the private-sector job count decreased by 4,400.

Tax Foundation: NY Ranks 49th In Biz Tax Climate (Updated)

New York ranks at the bottom when it comes to its business tax climate, according to an annual report released on Wednesday by the Tax Foundation.

The report ranked New York 49th overall in business taxes, sandwiched between two other notoriously high-tax states, California (48th) and New Jersey (50th). For what it’s worth, the states with the best tax climate for businesses are Wyoming, South Dakota and Alaska.

The ranking comes after years of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration pushing to reshape the image of the state as having a high-tax climate or being generally hostile to businesses.

“The states in the bottom 10 tend to have a number of shortcomings in common: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates,” the foundation wrote in its report. “New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance tax and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst-structured individual income taxes in the country.”

Business groups, meanwhile, lamented the development.

“The Tax Foundation has released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index and the results are troubling and frustrating,” said Greg Biryla of Unshackle Upstate. New York State has the second-worst business tax climate in the nation. That’s simply unacceptable. If a well-respected research organization published a report that had similar findings about our educational or health care systems, the outcry would be deafening and Albany would go to great lengths to address the situation.”

Updated: The Cuomo administration responds.

“New York has a fair and progressive income tax structure that this conservative leaning organization fundamentally disagrees with,” said spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s reforms, we also have the lowest middle class tax rates in 70 years, the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917 and the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968, and a tax cap that broke the cycle of skyrocketing property tax hikes on businesses and property taxpayers alike.”

New York’s Unemployment Ticked Upward In August

New York’s unemployment rate increased in August, but still remains below the national average, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced.

New York’s unemployment rate last month increased to 4.8 percent in August, up slightly from 4.7 percent in July.

That’s still below the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

Still, the Labor Department sough to emphasize the positive, pointing to the 12 months of job growth from August 2015 through last month.

“Looking over the past year, the New York State economy has added more than 120,000 private sector jobs and our statewide unemployment rate has dropped by 0.2 percentage points. In addition, in August 2016 the state’s jobless rate remained below the nation’s comparable rate,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

Hochul: ‘Very Optimistic’ About START-UP NY

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul remains optimistic on the prospects of the START-UP NY economic development program after a report released by the Empire State Development Corp. last week found the tax-free incentive program has created only 408 jobs over the last two years.

Hochul in western New York on Tuesday said the claim the program was isn’t living up to expectations is inaccurate.

“I disagree with that assessment 100 percent,” she said. “In fact, from 2014 to 2015 there’s been an over 300 percent increase in the number of jobs created. We went from 76 in our inaugural year, when you have those early growing pains, which we experienced and expected. We have over 300 jobs now and that’s really over 18 months.”

The report itself was released on the afternoon of July 3 and weeks after it was initially scheduled to be released. Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not address questions raised about the report in New York City earlier in the day.

Hochul, who has been charged with overseeing economic development opportunities, insisted the program needs time to gain steam and attention from out-of-state investors.

“As I’ve said before, this takes time to germinate,” she said, adding, “We’re really at the early stage of this, so I’m very optimistic about what’s occurring.”

First approved in 2013, START-UP NY aims to provide tax-free incentives to business that come to New York and create jobs. The program has been heavily advertised in TV ad campaigns, but has been criticized by conservatives and liberals alike for its approach to economic development as too costly.

Hochul, however, pointed to interest from international business leaders when she recently touted the program in Washington, D.C.

“They were fascinated to learn more, so I feel really good about our prospects for future growth,” she said. “It’s only been here for 18 months. So, people have to understand something like this doesn’t grow exponentially over months.”

At the same time, it may take several more years for the benefits of START-UP NY to become apparent, Hochul said.

“I think we’re looking at a five year strategy here,” Hochul said, “so let’s have that conversation in a couple of years.”

NY Unemployment Ticks Up Amid Lower Job Growth

The state’s unemployment rate ticked upward in April from 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent after a month of relatively flat growth in private-sector jobs.

New York’s unemployment rate is still lower than the national average of 5.5 percent.

And the Department of Labor sought to claim a positive, given the overall private-sector job count has grown to a record 7.9 million. Still, employers in April added only 13,300. In April of 2015, the private-sector job count grew by 18,300.

“New York State’s labor market continued to strengthen in April 2016, reaching a new record high in private sector jobs as the state’s growth outpaced national job growth for the month,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.

The private-sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.