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Queens Chronicle

UNEMPLOYMENT WATCH Jobless rate dives in a genuine improvement

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:42 am, Thu May 30, 2013.

The unemployment rate fell substantially in Queens, along with the rest of the city, state and nation as a whole, in April, according to the state Department of Labor, marking a true improvement that was also reflected in the number of people actually working.

The jobless rate in Queens dropped to 6.9 percent in April from 7.8 percent in April 2012, according to figures the state released Tuesday. The new rate also showed an improvement over March’s 7.7 percent, but year-to-year comparisons are the most valid measure because of seasonal factors.

The progress was not due to people going off unemployment and just dropping out of the workforce, as some recent dips in the jobless rate — including one reported for March — may have been. There were 1,046,300 people working in Queens in April compared to 1,037,100 in April 2012, marking the same nine-tenths of a percentage point improvement as that seen in the unemployment rate.

Similar progress was seen citywide, where the jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent from 8.8 percent one year earlier; statewide, where it dropped to 7.3 percent from 8.1; and nationwide, where it dipped to 7.1 percent from 7.7. The workforce grew markedly in all those areas save the city as a whole.

The numbers also revealed continuing extremes among Queens’ neighbors: Nassau County had the state’s second-best jobless rate, 5.8 percent, while Bronx County had the third-worst, 10.5 percent. In Manhattan, the rate was 6.5 percent, the best in the city.

The state’s monthly jobs reports and other data are available at labor.ny.gov.

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