Unemployment Numbers Slightly Up From Last Month


After a slight rebound, Chautauqua County’s unemployment figure is gradually rising — and still above the state average.

The county’s 5.6 percent unemployment rate for October is slightly higher from last month, 5.5 percent, and last year, 5.4 percent. Preliminary local area unemployment rates were released last week by the New York State Department of Labor. Data shows the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5 to 5.2 percent in October.

Chautauqua County started the year with an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, but it declined to 4.9 percent in May, according to data by the Labor Department. The figure began to rise in June and July before falling a bit in August. The rate then began to climb in September.

County Executive Vince Horrigan said it’s a disappointment anytime the unemployment rate rises even by the slightest amount. But Horrigan said there’s some good news as New Flyer of America is starting to hire people for its new location on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown. The heavy-duty bus manufacturer is planning on creating 31 jobs. In Dunkirk, Athenex is moving forward on a SEQR at its location while Fieldbrook Farms adds more employees at its facility.

“I would love to see the employment rate down below 5 percent,” Horrigan said. “I would like to see the trend go in a direction where more and more people are finding those high-quality jobs. That will be my primary goal over the remainder of my term.”

Horrigan said many high-skilled job positions are staying vacant, especially in the manufacturing industry, and leaving employers frustrated. Between job training and the P-Tech program, Horrigan said they’re ensuring individuals are receiving the training they need to obtain good-paying jobs.

Data also shows county employment numbers by industry remain unchanged from October 2015 to date. Goods producing and service providing jobs are slightly down while private and business services are up a bit.

Regionally, Chautauqua County’s rate is higher than Cattaraugus County, 5.4 percent, Allegany County, 4.7 percent, and Erie County, 4.8 percent.

Notably, the unemployment figure in the city of Jamestown went from 6.7 percent in September to 7.1 percent in October. The city’s unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent last October and 6.5 percent to begin the year.