New York City’s August unemployment rate rises to a 16-year-high of 10.3%


According to a Thursday statement by the New York City officials, the unemployment rate in the city rose to 10.3 percent in August, from the July figures of 9.5 percent, with the number of jobless city residents increasing to a record high of 415,800.

The disquieting figures, reported by the State Labor Department, reveal that not only has the unemployment rate in the city hit its highest level in the past 16 years, but is also higher than both the national average of 9.7 percent as well as the 8 percent rate in the rest of New York State.

With reference to the Federal Reserve head Ben S. Bernanke's statement that recession is likely over in the US, New York Gov. David A. Paterson noted that the situation in New York apparently is far from improved, and added: "What he's saying about the national recession doesn't apply to us."

A "national emergency grant" of $11 million in federal funds is being used by the State Labor Department to help the laid-off workers on Wall Street move into other fields, like health care and education.

Commenting on the need for workers to shift to other job streams, the State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith said that the economists opine that the largely devastated financial services sector of the state will never come back "as strong as it was."