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Unemployment rate in Columbia, Greene cos. climbing

Aug 04, 2020 6:00 am
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the rate of unemployment in Columbia and Greene counties continues to rise, according to the June data released by the state Department of Labor. In Columbia County, the jobless rate increased from 8.1 percent to 8.8 percent between May and June; the Greene County rate increased from 11 percent to 11.5 percent, during the same period. Statewide, unemployment rose from 14.5 percent to 15.7 percent. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, unemployment was at 5 percent in Greene County and 3.8 percent in Columbia County. Greene County Economic Development and Planning Director Karl Heck said the relatively small [point] 5 percent increase since May is significant to the 2,400 people currently on unemployment. “We were down 11,000 jobs among our residents, which all things being equal is not that bad, but we are up 1,600 in unemployed people,” Heck said. Columbia County was ranked as having the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the state, Columbia Economic Development Corporation President F. Michael Tucker said. “Compared to our pre-COVID rate of 3.8 percent, we are five points higher,” he said. In June 2019, the county’s rate was 3.1 percent, Tucker said, and the average unemployment rate over the past five years was 3.6 percent. “Columbia County unemployment has not been this high in more than 10 years. And while it appears that the numbers are leveling off, it certainly shows almost 3,000 residents are out of work,” Tucker said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.