May unemployment rates signal grasp on pandemic

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ALBANY – May unemployment in the Hudson Valley was about one-third of what it was a year ago as we were in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That, says labor department analysist Johny Nelson, is a very good sign that the economy was returning to some degree of normalcy.

“What we are seeing with this jobless data is we are continuing to mirror the improvement in the private sector job market and this comes as a result of more business restrictions being lifted and an increasing vaccination rate, so we are seeing the numbers come back from what they were a year ago,” he said.

Columbia County had the lowest unemployment rate in the region in May, at 3.7 percent, while Sullivan County, with 5.1 percent joblessness, had the highest rate.

COUNTY MAY 2021 APRIL 2021 MAY 2020
Columbia 3.7% 4.3% 8.8%
Dutchess 4.4% 5.0% 11.4%
Greene 5.0% 5.9% 12.0%
Orange 4.7% 5.2% 12.8%
Putnam 4.2% 4.7% 11.4%
Rockland 4.3% 4.9% 12.3%
Sullivan 5.1% 5.7% 12.7%
Ulster 4.6% 5.1% 12.2%
Westchester 4.8% 5.4% 12.2%