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Orleans unemployment drops in February

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County moved up from near the very bottom of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in February.

In January, the county’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate has the third highest in the state. The latest data isn’t so grim. The county’s 11.2 percent unemployment rate is better than 11 other counties with most of those in northern New York. Lewis County led the state with a 13.0 percent unemployment rate.

Orleans added 100 jobs in February, growing from 16,900 to 17,000, according to the state Department of Labor. The county also cut the ranks of the unemployed from 2,400 to 2,100, according to the state report.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in February. Tompkins County has the lowest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent. The Ithaca metro area, with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate, is best in the state with Elmira’s metro the worst, with a 10.2 percent rate.

While Orleans is improving, its unemployment rate is higher than other similar-size nearby rural counties. Genesee’s rate was 9.0 in February, while Livingston had a 10.1 percent rate and Wyoming, 10.8.