State Labor Department Releases Preliminary January 2021 Area Unemployment Rates

The New York State Department of Labor today released preliminary local area unemployment rates for January 2021. Rates are calculated using methods prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The State’s area unemployment rates rely in part on the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month. To recap last week’s statewide press release, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 8.7% in December 2020 to 8.8% in January 2021.

Local Area Unemployment Rates* (%) 
January 2020 and January 2021

(not seasonally adjusted)
*Data are preliminary and subject to change.
Metro Areas
    Buffalo-Niagara Falls
    Glens Falls
    New York City
    Watertown-Fort Drum
  Non-metro counties

The data in the preceding table are not seasonally adjusted, which means they reflect seasonal influences (e.g., holiday and summer hires). Therefore, the most valid comparisons with this type of data are year-to-year comparisons of the same month, for example, January 2020 versus January 2021.

See County Unemployment Rates (opens in new window) for current unemployment rates for all 62 counties in New York State.

Labor force data for the current month are preliminary and subject to revision as more information becomes available the following month. Revised estimates for prior months are available at:

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, for New York and every other state are based on statistical regression models specified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are the most up-to-date estimates of persons employed and unemployed by place of residence. Estimates are available for New York State, labor market regions, metropolitan areas, counties and municipalities with population of at least 25,000.