December 17, 2013

Editorial: Good news is undeniable

New York state has added more than 40,000 jobs over the past three months.

The number sounds impressive, though cynics argue that most are undoubtedly low-paying, non-career sorts of jobs that won’t support a family.

Nevertheless, there is one undeniable positive fact out of this news: Those 40,000 people who have recently gone to work will not be collecting unemployment-insurance benefits at the expense of taxpayers.

The 40,000-plus jobs are in the private sector, which is the kind most favorable to the strengthening of the economy. They are not jobs that take money out of the taxpayers who are trying so desperately to see some prosperity in their own lives.

The unemployment rate, which tragically surpassed 10 percent in the dark days of the recession of 2008, is now hovering in the 7.3 percent area nationally, 7.7 in New York.

That New York figure was down in October from 8.4 percent a year previous. However, it was up from 7.6 in September, which, the State Labor Department crows with a touch of pollyanna, is a good sign — it indicates that more New Yorkers were confident of finding a job so they actually went out looking for one.

The number of reported unemployed New Yorkers increased from 734,600 in September to 740,300 in October. Part of that increase, the Labor Department says, may be attributable to layoffs related to the recent federal government shutdown.

Here is the assessment from Bohdan M. Wynnyk, deputy director of the State Division of Research and Statistics: “The New York state economy continued to grow during September and October, adding a total of 33,800 private-sector jobs. Since the state’s economic recovery began in late 2009, we have added more than 500,000 private-sector jobs.”

Later statistics from the department show the state adding 8,180 private-sector jobs in November: 1,370 goods-producing and 6,810 service-providing. By “select industries:” 1,450 in natural resources, mining and construction; 1,360 in professional and business services; 1970 in trade, transportation and utilities; and, significantly, a minus 80 in manufacturing.

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