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July 30, 2016 - 1:26pm

Unemployment in Genesee County remains low, but number of workers also down

posted by Howard B. Owens in employment, economy, business, news.

Genesee County's unemployment rate remains at pre-recession levels, hitting 3.8 percent for the second month in a row, but there are still fewer people working locally than there were the last time it hit 3.8, in August 2007.

Then, according to NYS labor department statistics, there were 32,600 people with jobs in the county. In June 2016, the most current employment numbers, there were 29,700 people with jobs, a drop of more than 3,000 employed residents.

The labor force participation number has dropped over the same span from 33,900 to 30,800. The number in June 2015 was 31,200.

The labor force participation number reflects the total number of people either working or actively looking for employment. It does not include people who have stopped looking for work, nor does it include people who have voluntarily decided to retire (which as Baby Boomer age does account for at least some of decrease in workforce participation) or people who dropped out of the labor force because of disability.

From 2007 to 2015, Genesee County's population rose from 58,159 to 58,937.

The lowest number of employed local residents over the past 10 years was in January 2015, when 27,300 residents had jobs. The unemployment rate then was 6.8 percent.

Since 1990, the number of employed locally has hovered the range 27,000 and 31,000, and the labor force participation number has remained within a similar range.

These numbers reflect the job market for residents, as for the jobs currently filled within Genesee County, the June 2015 number is 24,000, which is exactly where it was a year ago for non-farm jobs.

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