By Haley Viccaro
ALBANY, NY-- New York's unemployment rate dropped from 8.4 percent to 8.2 percent between February and March with the state reaching an all-time high in private-sector jobs this year, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The state added more than 14,000 private-sector jobs in March, bringing the job count to a record high of 7.4 million. The unemployment rate in the state outside of New York City fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent in March compared to the previous month.
"In March, the New York state economy improved as our seasonally adjusted private sector job count grew by 14,100, or 0.2 percent, to 7,426,100, an all-time high," said Bohdan Wynnyk, the labor department's deputy director of research and statistics, in a statement.
New York City's unemployment rate decreased from 9.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent in March.
New York's unemployment rate still outpaced the national average. The national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March.
The total number of private sector and government jobs, or non-farm jobs, from February to March increased by 11,200 in the state.
Compared to March 2012, the total number of non-farm jobs increased by almost 80,000 and private-sector jobs grew by more than 97,000.
Over the past year, private sector job growth increased the highest in the Kingston area with a reported 2.9 percent growth, or addition of 1,300 positions. Jobs on Long Island increased 2.1 percent, and the Ithaca area increased by 1.7 percent between March 2012 and March 2013.
The lower Hudson Valley -- Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties -- had an increase of 2,200 jobs between March 2012 and March 2013.
The areas that had a loss in private-sector jobs since March 2012 included Elmira, Binghamton and the Utica-Rome area. Binghamton experienced a decrease of 1,100 non-farm jobs and a loss of 200 private-sector jobs. Elmira lost 700 non-farm jobs and 500 private-jobs since March 2012.
The Labor Department said the private educational and health services fields contributed the highest growth in jobs with an increase of 35,800 in the industry over the past year.
The business services industry added more than 32,000 jobs, and the scientific and technical services added 12,600. The Department of Labor said that after revisions were made to their February employment report, the state's non-farm job count during that month increased by more than 1,000 and showed a gain of 100 jobs.
The Labor Department previously reported that non-farm jobs experienced a loss of 900 in the state.
"This trend of job growth is underscored by the revised numbers for February 2013, which show more strength than originally reported," Wynnyk said in a statement.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated the state's unemployment rate based on a monthly telephone survey of 3,100 households.
For more information, visit http://labor.ny.gov/stats/pressreleases/pruistat.shtm