Even though the county unemployment rate only decreased slightly, it was an improvement.
In February, the unemployment rate in Chautauqua County decreased by .1 percent, falling to 9.2 percent. However, this was the first time in four months the unemployment rate had decreased. In November through January, the unemployment rate increased a total of 2.3 percent to 9.3 percent. The current unemployment rate is .2 percent higher than it was in February 2011 when it was 9 percent, according to information released by the state Labor Department recently.
The job sector that added the most jobs in February was government, going up by 600 jobs, which was a 5.8 percent increase. Three other job sectors added 100 positions in February, which included financial activities, a 7.7 percent increase, natural resources, a 5.6 percent rise, and leisure and hospitality, a 2 percent jump.
New York state's economy added 21,300 private-sector jobs, or a .3 percent increase, in February 2012. Since the state's economic recovery began in November 2009, New York has recouped 95 percent, or 309,200, of the private-sector jobs lost during the state's recession in 2008-09.
From February 2011 to February 2012, New York state added 138,500 new private-sector jobs. Almost 10 percent of all new jobs created in the United States in February were created in New York state.
''In February 2012, the New York state economy continued to grow as it added more than 21,000 private-sector jobs,'' said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, state Division of Research and Statistics deputy director. ''The state is poised to regain all of the private-sector jobs lost during the 2008-09 recession.''
The state's unemployment rate for February was 8.5 percent, up from January's level of 8.3 percent. Over the same time period, the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed New Yorkers also increased during the month, going from 787,900 in January to 805,800 in February.
Job sectors that saw the largest increase in jobs during the last year included professional and business services, which added the most jobs with 55,2000. Educational and health services increased by 25,400 and leisure and hospitality added 25,100 jobs during the last year.
The job sector with the largest decrease was information, which 5,900 jobs. Construction lost 4,600 positions during the last year in the state.