The job situation seems to be improving in the city, according to the latest figures released Friday.
The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics yielded surprises in two areas.
First, the actual percentage of those unemployed, which has been stubbornly hanging on at 9.8 percent, dropped to 9.4 percent last month. That’s the lowest level since May 2009.
Analysts say the positive number should be tempered with the fact that some of those off the unemployment lists are people who've just fallen off the radar not fallen into new jobs.
When it comes to actual numbers, while many economists were predicting a national gain of 150,000 to 200,000 jobs, the nation only picked up 103,000 new jobs in December.
In New York City, the results were better.
"New York City has an unemployment rate of 9.0 percent and we had job growth of about 37,000 new jobs this last year,” said Martin Kohli of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The growth is good but the unemployment rate has a long way to go to get back to where we were.”
As for other areas of the state, Kohli says the private sector is struggling.
"It used to be that Albany was a relatively good part of the state economy because it had all these state government jobs, but that's now turning out to be a negative. The Albany area saw losses of about 5,000 state and local government [jobs], it's also losing jobs in retail trade still," Kohli said. "Buffalo and Rochester are basically flat over the year. Rochester has seen job growth in education and health care which is significant, and Rochester perhaps is a little better than other upstate areas."
Kohli says future jobs will be in home health care, IT and a few other fields.