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County Unemployment Rate Falls Down To 9.5%

Chautauqua County’s unemployment rate has fallen below 10% for the first time since March, statistics released Tuesday by the New York State Department of Labor indicate.

The rate for August came in at 9.5% in the county, down from the 12.4% reported a month earlier. Those seeking work had been above 10% since April, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to close or scale back.

In March, when data was collected for February, the county had a 5.8% unemployment rate. Just a month later, state labor officials reported a 15.7% unemployment rate.

Prior to that, the rate last hit 10% in March 2010, at the tail end of the economic crisis.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Cattaraugus County came in at 9.8% in August.

According to the state Labor Department, rates are calculated using methods prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s area unemployment rates rely in part on the results of the current population survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York state each month.

From August 2019 to August 2020, the state’s private sector employment count decreased by 1,096,900. The state’s seasonally adjusted private sector job count increased over the month by 96,300, or 1.4%, to 7,198,600 in August 2020. The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers, which is conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 15.9% to 12.5% in August 2020.

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