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Rochester's unemployment drops in March

By VELVET SPICER - 4/22/2014 4:03:44 PM

Rochester’s economy continued to show improvement in March, with a sharp decrease in the unemployment rate along with increases in both non-farm and private-sector jobs, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The jobless rate in the Rochester metropolitan area was 6.7 percent, down from 7.7 percent in March 2013, not seasonally adjusted. The metro area includes Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties. Genesee County is considered a micropolitan area within the Rochester region.

Area unemployment rates in March were:

•    Monroe County—6.4 percent, down from 7.2 percent a year ago;
•    Genesee County—6.8 percent, compared with 7.7 percent in March 2013;
•    Livingston County—7.3 percent, compared with 8.8 percent a year ago;
•    Ontario County—6.8 percent, down from 7.8 percent in March 2013;
•    Orleans County—9.5 percent, down from 10 percent a year ago; and
•    Wayne County—7.6 percent, compared with 9.2 percent a year ago.

Data in the report are not seasonally adjusted. The most valid comparison with this type of data are year-to-year comparisons of the same month, the Labor Department has noted.

The number of unemployed in Rochester in March was 34,700, down from 40,000 a year ago. Some 483,600 people were employed here last month, up from 481,700 in March 2013.

Last week the Department of Labor reported Rochester gained 2,200 non-farm jobs, or 0.4 percent, while the private sector added 2,900 jobs, or 0.7 percent, since March 2013. Rochester again ranked fourth among upstate metro regions in terms of non-farm job growth percentage last month.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent last month, down from 8 percent a year ago. Some 697,400 people were unemployed here in March, compared with 762,700 in March 2013.

The jobless rate in Buffalo in March was 7.1 percent, down from 8.2 percent in March 2013. The Syracuse area unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, compared with 8.2 percent a year ago.

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