November 1, 2012. For the past year, the conflicting trends exhibited by employment and unemployment data for NYS (and its major sub-areas including NYC) have confused analysts and have made it unusually difficult to get a clear reading on the state’s economy. Payroll employment has generally shown a rising trend, more or less in line with the national job recovery over the past two years. However, in New York State, unemployment has also been rising, and by more than can be explained by people returning to the labor force (something that would be expected during a recovery).

The report sorts out conflicting numbers, concluding that New York’s current unemployment rate may be overstated by one percentage point, and suggests that annual population adjustments to the household survey used to estimate the unemployment rate might account for some of the overstatement.