Orleans unemployment rate at 6.0% in October, up from 4.1% a year ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 November 2020 at 9:07 am

Number of workers in county drops by 1,400 — from 16,900 to 15,500 in past year

Orleans County’s unemployment rate was 6.0 percent in October, far less than pandemic high of 15.9 percent in April but more than the 4.1 in October 2019, when there wasn’t Covid-19.

The latest monthly report from the state Department of Labor shows there were 1,400 fewer people working in Orleans County in October, compared to a year earlier. The number of employed people in the county dropped from 16,900 in October 2019 to 15,500 last month.

The number of unemployed was up from 700 in October 2019 to 1,000 last month.

The number of unemployed has generally being going down since April’s high of 2,700, to 1,900 in May and June. It was at 2,300 in July and then 1,700 in August. Last month, the state DOL said it 900 in Orleans County.

In September, the unemployment rate was down to 5.5 percent in Orleans, the low of the pandemic. It went up to 6.0 in October. Since the pandemic hit, and the state closed or restricted many businesses, the unemployment rates in Orleans have been 15.9 percent in April, 11.5 percent in May, 10.8 percent in June, 12.7 percent in July and 9.8 percent in August.

While the rate is much less than the pandemic peak in April and May, it is still far more than a year ago. New York’s statewide unemployment rate was at 9.2 percent in October, compared to 3.7 percent in October 2019. Nationally the rate was at 6.6 percent in October, compared to 3.3 percent a year earlier.

New York City is suffering the most, with the rate up from 3.7 percent in October 2019 to 13.7 percent last month.

The Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro increased from 4.1 to 6.9 percent in the year, while the Rochester metro rate was up from 3.9 to 6.4 percent.

Other unemployment rates for October in the Western New York region include:

  • Allegany, 5.7 percent
  • Cattaraugus, 6.2 percent
  • Chautauqua, 7.0 percent
  • Erie, 6.9 percent
  • Genesee, 5.1 percent
  • Livingston, 4.9 percent
  • Monroe, 6.9 percent
  • Niagara, 6.9 percent
  • Orleans, 6.0 percent
  • Wyoming, 4.9 percent