New numbers from the New York State Labor Department show a sharp drop in jobs in the Rochester Metro area. But officials feel the raw numbers may not tell the true story.
The figures just out for February show a drop of 4,400 private sector jobs compared to a year ago. But state labor analyst Tammy Marino says her department has many other measures they use to track the job market, and those other parameters don't support this kind of dramatic job loss.
She notes that unemployment insurance claims are down, and the number of local job listings is up substantially over the last year. Also, Marino says the number of unemployed individuals is down by nearly 5,000 over the past 12 months.
“The recent weakness was very concentrated in a few sectors, professional and business services and educational services, and these sectors almost never decline during the month of February , so that was very suspicious.”
Marino says numbers should start to improve with the warmer weather since that's when the local workforce usually expands due to seasonal factors.
In the latest numbers for February, the Rochester metro was one of the few metro areas in the state to see a job loss, and the amount of the drop was dramatically lower than the other cities.