County Jobs Decrease 13.5% Over Last Year

Chautauqua County has lost 6,900 jobs over the past year as the effect of COVID-19 on the state and county labor force becomes even more pronounced.

Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties have been less hard-hit than New York state as a whole, however. Chautauqua County has seen 13.5% of its jobs evaporate from April 2019 to April 2020 while Cattaraugus County’s 2,900 lost jobs are a 9.6% decrease. The state lost 1,895,100 jobs (19.4%) from April 2019 to April 2020. Job losses or gains typically vary slightly year-over-year, with state analysts attributing the swings seen this year to the COVID-19 economic shutdown. For comparison, the start of the COVID-19 shutdown in March only resulted in a net change of 300 jobs from March 2019 to March 2020.

The state unemployment rate is 14.5% for April compared to 4% in April 2019. Local unemployment statistics haven’t been released yet.

According to the preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Labor’s business and household surveys for April 2020, the number of private sector jobs in New York state decreased over the month by 1,764,600, or 21.4%, to 6,467,600. It was the state’s largest monthly employment drop on record. Just under one-third of the monthly jobs decline occurred in leisure and hospitality (-577,700), mostly in accommodation and food services (-471,400).

The hardest-hit areas in Chautauqua County in April are leisure and hospitality, which lost 2,400 jobs, or 46.2%, followed by education and health services, which lost 800 jobs, of 9.5% of the sector workforce.

Professional and business services lost 300 jobs, or 10%. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,200 jobs, 14.3% of its workforce. Manufacturing decreased 1,100 jobs, or 12.5% of the workforce. Government decreased by 300 jobs, or 2.8% of the workforce.

In April 2020, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.1% to 14.5%. This change was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase since current record keeping began in 1976. In addition, the number of unemployed New York state residents increased by 931,600, while the labor force dropped by 307,600 — both monthly records. At the same time, government employment statewide has decreased 4%.

The number of private sector jobs in New York state is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York businesses conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data become available the following month. The federal government calculates New York state’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts 3,100 households in the state each month.


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