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Jobless rate unchanged in March

The Rochester area economy made little headway in March, with no change in the unemployment rate since February and flat year-over-year job growth.
The jobless rate in the Rochester area was 5.7 percent last month, unchanged from February but up from 4.5 percent a year ago. The metropolitan area gained some 700 non-farm jobs, or 0.1 percent, since March 2007, but lost 600 private-sector jobs.
The metropolitan area includes Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in March, up from 4.4 percent in February and a year ago. Some 70,300 non-farm jobs have been added since March 2007, not seasonally adjusted, while the private sector has gained 54,900 jobs.
The educational and health services sector continued to top the industries with job gains, adding some 37,300 jobs since March 2007. The manufacturing sector continues to lose jobs. Statewide there are 16,100 fewer manufacturing jobs today than a year ago.
The number of unemployed in the Rochester area increased to 30,200 last month from 29,900 in February and 23,600 a year ago. Some 497,600 people were employed here in March, compared with 498,200 in February and 503,500 in March 2007.
Jobless rates for area counties were:

  • Monroe County—5.4 percent, up from 5.3 percent in February and 4.2 percent a year ago;
  • Genesee County—fell to 6.6 percent last month from 6.9 percent in February, but was up from 5 percent a year ago;
  • Livingston County—was 6.6 percent in March, compared with 6.7 percent in February and 5.4 percent in March 2007;
  • Ontario County—was 5.8 percent last month, down from 5.9 percent in February, but up from 4.6 percent a year ago;
  • Orleans County—was unchanged at 7.6 percent last month, but was up from 6.3 percent a year ago; and
  • Wayne County—fell to 6.5 percent in March from 6.6 percent in February, but increased from 5 percent a year ago.
    The Buffalo area’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in March, compared with 6.3 percent in February and 4.9 percent a year ago. That region has gained 1,100 non-farm jobs since March 2007, but has lost 1,200 private-sector jobs.
    The jobless rate in Syracuse remained unchanged at 5.7 percent in March, but was up from 4.6 percent a year ago. Non-farm jobs in the area have increased by 3,200 since March 2007, while the private sector has gained 2,500 jobs.

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