Counties with the highest unemployment in New York

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July 8, 2024
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Counties with the highest unemployment in New York

Despite a relatively low unemployment rate, the fear of job losses remains amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in New York using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in May 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Economists forecast a waning risk of recession and predict that the U.S. may instead be headed for an incremental slowdown in growth known as a "soft landing." Still, layoffs among major U.S. employers like Amazon to Tesla have sparked concern among Americans. What's more, unemployment has spiked in nearly half the country's states, which often indicates a looming recession, a chief global economist at Piper Sandler told Business Insider. And with sky-high prices after a period of record inflation, savings and unemployment payments may not cover basic expenses for jobless Americans for long.

For comparison, the Great Recession of 2007-09 sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years. At the height of the COVID-19 recession in April 2020, unemployment hit 14.7%.

Still, as of June 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 4.1%, with little change from the previous month. Regional and state employment range widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state vary, ranging from just 2% in the Dakotas to 5.3% in Washington D.C.

Read on to see the counties with the highest unemployment in New York.

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#50. Essex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 16,233 people (569 unemployed)

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#49. Washington County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 27,247 people (962 unemployed)

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#48. Wayne County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 43,468 people (1,528 unemployed)

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#47. Tompkins County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 48,555 people (1,706 unemployed)

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#46. Rensselaer County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 81,984 people (2,868 unemployed)

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#45. Dutchess County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 145,555 people (5,157 unemployed)

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#44. Rockland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 159,702 people (5,516 unemployed)

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#43. Suffolk County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 798,444 people (27,935 unemployed)

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#42. Warren County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 30,654 people (1,106 unemployed)

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#41. Cayuga County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 35,692 people (1,278 unemployed)

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#40. Ulster County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 87,931 people (3,203 unemployed)

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#39. Albany County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 159,080 people (5,691 unemployed)

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#38. Schuyler County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 8,130 people (303 unemployed)

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#37. Orleans County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 17,161 people (628 unemployed)

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#36. Franklin County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 18,763 people (691 unemployed)

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#35. Otsego County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 27,003 people (996 unemployed)

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#34. Livingston County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 30,323 people (1,124 unemployed)

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#33. Madison County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 32,717 people (1,218 unemployed)

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#32. Clinton County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 35,451 people (1,310 unemployed)

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#31. Orange County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 191,403 people (7,121 unemployed)

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#30. Onondaga County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 221,882 people (8,265 unemployed)

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#29. Westchester County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 496,862 people (18,327 unemployed)

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#28. Schenectady County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 77,746 people (2,978 unemployed)

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#27. Lewis County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.0 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 12,043 people (465 unemployed)

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#26. Schoharie County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 14,805 people (574 unemployed)

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#25. Delaware County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 18,568 people (726 unemployed)

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#24. Oneida County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 99,339 people (3,856 unemployed)

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#23. Monroe County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 362,750 people (14,226 unemployed)

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#22. Greene County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 19,963 people (795 unemployed)

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#21. Allegany County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 19,977 people (803 unemployed)

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#20. Cortland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 22,382 people (889 unemployed)

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#19. Cattaraugus County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 33,141 people (1,333 unemployed)

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#18. Steuben County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 40,722 people (1,613 unemployed)

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#17. Erie County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 446,375 people (17,774 unemployed)

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#16. Chemung County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 34,241 people (1,396 unemployed)

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#15. Chautauqua County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 53,927 people (2,194 unemployed)

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#14. Broome County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 82,265 people (3,385 unemployed)

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#13. Niagara County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 98,620 people (4,113 unemployed)

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#12. Jefferson County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 44,007 people (1,911 unemployed)

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#11. Oswego County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 52,355 people (2,277 unemployed)

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#10. Queens County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1.2 million people (50,008 unemployed)

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#9. Fulton County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 22,217 people (988 unemployed)

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#8. Herkimer County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 27,245 people (1,198 unemployed)

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#7. Richmond County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 230,643 people (10,219 unemployed)

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#6. New York County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 940,557 people (41,264 unemployed)

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#5. Montgomery County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 22,013 people (985 unemployed)

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#4. Hamilton County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 2.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,119 people (98 unemployed)

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#3. St. Lawrence County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 43,099 people (1,969 unemployed)

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#2. Kings County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 1.2 million people (64,316 unemployed)

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#1. Bronx County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 609,965 people (38,448 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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