Unemployment Rate Drops Again

New York City’s unemployment rate dipped in February, raising hopes that the effects of the long recession are waning and the pace of hiring may pick up soon.

The city’s official unemployment rate was 10.2 percent last month, down from 10.4 percent in January, the state Labor Department reported on Thursday. that was still significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 9.7 percent in February.

The number of private-sector jobs in the city rose by 8,100 last month, but that was less than half the average gain over the same period in the past 10 years, said James Brown, an analyst with the Labor Department. mr. Brown said the city’s construction and finance industries “both suffered significant job losses in February.” but that weakness was offset by hiring in business services, like law and accounting, and in leisure and hospitality.

New York State’s unemployment rate held steady in February at 8.8 percent, the Labor Department said. Statewide, the number of people working in the private sector inched up by 8,100 to 6.99 million, according to the data.

“New York State’s labor market continues to improve,” said Peter a. Neenan, director of the Labor Department’s division of research and statistics. “We’ve now added jobs for two consecutive months and the state’s unemployment rate has leveled off. However, following previous recessions, it has taken the state about five years, on average, to regain all of the jobs lost during a downturn.”

In another sign of an improving labor market in the state, the federal Labor Department reported on Thursday that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits fell in New York State last week by more than 4,100, a bigger decline than in any other state. still, nearly 845,000 New York residents were unable to find jobs last month and more than 607,000 of them were collecting unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Rate Drops Again

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