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Orleans County’s unemployment rate stays near lowest in generation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 December 2018 at 6:38 pm

Rate has been under 4 percent past three months

ALBION – Orleans County’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November, the third straight month it has been under 4 percent.

That 3.7 percent was slightly up from the 3.5 percent in October, which was the lowest rate in the county in at least 29 years. The state Department of Labor has employment data available for each month in Orleans County since 1990.

Only a few times since then has the rate fallen below 4 percent, and never did it do so for three consecutive months, according to the data since 1990.

The other under-4 percent months include 3.9 percent in September 2000 and 3.7 percent in October 2000; 3.8 percent in September 1999 and 3.9 percent in October 1999; and 3.9 percent in October 1996.

The labor force last month at 18,300 was the largest of the year in Orleans County, with 18,100 in January the second most. It’s also the most in Orleans since the 18,300 in March 2014.

The data from the state Department of Labor shows there were 17,600 working in Orleans in November, up from 16,900 the same time in 2017. It was also more than the 17,300 in October when the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Although the number of people working in the county increased from October to November, the unemployment rate was up because the number of unemployed also increased from 600 to 700, according to the state DOL. That pushed the unemployment rate for November to 3.7 percent.

Nationally and state-wide the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in November. The rate for counties near Orleans include: Genesee, 3.5 percent; Wyoming, 3.4 percent; Livingston, 3.3 percent; Monroe, 3.5 percent; Erie, 3.5 percent; and Niagara, 4.1 percent.

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