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City Unemployment Reaches 16-Year High

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TWC News: City Unemployment Reaches 16-Year High
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The New York State Department of Labor is calling the current unemployment numbers released Thursday, the worst in 16 years.

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment numbers for New York City shot up to 8.1 percent last month, from 6.9 percent in January.

The numbers for the state have risen to 7.8 percent last month from 7 percent.

The newly released figures also seem to show that many industries, not just service and manufacturing, are feeling the pinch as fewer professions avoid the chopping block.

"We're seeing a lot of downsizing in the financial industry, and I'm not sure all of those jobs will ever return. And as we downsize in the financial industry, a lot of the support jobs. So we're seeing a lot of downsizing in the professional and business industry. With corporate profits down, lawyers are being laid off, accountants are being laid off," said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith.

At the state's One Stop Centers for the unemployed, a great deal of attention is being paid to retraining. People say they are looking for careers with stability.

"You should be looking at a wide variety of technical jobs that do require a high school education but do not require a four-year degree. That is the number one growing sector of jobs across New York State," said Smith.

While the situation is not exactly hopeful, it is far from hopeless.

Last month, the job situation picked up for people working in motion picture and sound recording -- something many New Yorkers have access to right in their own backyard. Leisure and hospitality have also seen a spike in recruitment including those interested in working in food service or drinking establishments.

Meanwhile, the national numbers for filing unemployment benefits claims jumped to more than 5.5 million, much worse than economists predicted. It's the highest number recorded since 1967.

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