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Syracuse metropolitan area sees decrease in March unemployment rate

The March non-seasonal unemployment rate in the Syracuse metropolitan area is down compared to this time last year.

For the past year, unemployment has been on the decline in the Syracuse area. In March 2016, Syracuse reported a 5.1 percent non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, a 0.8 percent decrease from March 2015 when the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, according to data released by the New York State Department of Labor reported on April 19.

Statewide, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also dropped from 5.7 to 5.2 percent, according to the state Department of Labor.

In actual terms, the 5.1 percent Syracuse unemployment means that 16,100 people were out of work in March, according to Syracuse.com. This is down from 18,405 people in March 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In the last 10 years, the highest unemployment rate was in February 2012, which reported a 9.6 percent unemployment rate, according to the BLS. During that month, 31,298 people were out of work.

The seasonally-adjusted data is collected by removing influences like weather, holidays and the opening and closing of schools in order to more easily understand the trend in employment rates, according to the  Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

The unadjusted rate is used to calculate annual average estimates, according to the BLS. That data is also usually used in smaller geographical levels, such as county and city levels, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, because seasonally adjusted levels are usually only available at the state level.
Though the unemployment rate is continuously declining, it might not be representative of how many people are actually not working. This is because the unemployment rate does not take into account people who don’t have jobs but also are not actively looking for work, according to the BLS.

The Syracuse labor force has been declining for the past few years, but the population has seen little fluctuation, according to U.S. census data.

In March 2013, 322,817 people were in the workforce, which is 8,076 more than how many people were in the labor force in February 2016, according to the BLS.
Local counties have also seen decreased unemployment rates, according to the BLS. Madison County’s unemployment rate decreased 0.9 percent in 2016. Onondaga County saw a 0.7 percent decrease in unemployment. Oswego County had the highest decrease in unemployment of the three counties, lowering its unemployment rate by 1.1 percent this year.

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