New York’s Rising Jobless Rate Poses Test for Cuomo

October 15, 2012. Danny Hakim writes about New York State’s high unemployment rate in the New York Times.

While the nation’s unemployment rate has been declining over the last year, New York State’s has been rising sharply, presenting a challenge for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as he tries to build an image as a fiscal centrist who can transform the state’s business climate.

Over the last 12 months, New York has been the only state with a statistically significant increase in its unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of August, the state’s rate had climbed to 9.1 percent from 8.2 percent when Mr. Cuomo took office in January 2011, a reversal of the national trend, according to the federal household survey.

In every corner of the state, there are trouble spots. In the Bronx, the unemployment rate is nearly 14 percent. Along Lake Ontario, in rural Orleans County, shrinking manufacturing jobs and government payrolls have pushed unemployment to more than 11 percent. In St.Lawrence County, in the northern Adirondacks, the rate is also 11 percent.

And James A. Parrott, chief economist at the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute, said: “Unemployment is still a problem, but it’s not as bad
as the unemployment rate suggests.”

“The recovery is not as strong as it could be,” he said, adding that much of the job growth has come in low-paying industries, like retail, restaurants and home health care.”

Filed in: FPI in the News