By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN—New York City’s unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent in April, the first time it has dipped below 10 percent since August, the state’s Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The unemployment numbers come on the heels of several signs the state may finally heading out of its recession, officials said. New York added 31,500 private jobs in April, which is the state’s fourth straight month of job increases.
“The economic recovery is gaining momentum in New York State. Over the past four months, we have added more than 78,000 private sector jobs, while the state’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since May 2009,” said Peter Neenan, Dir. of the Division of Research and Statistics for the state's labor department.
Still, New York City lost 25,500 non-farm jobs last month and Wall Street continues to struggle, with 16,400 jobs lost in April. Overall, more than 580,000 people statewide are receiving unemployment insurance, according to the department.
Sectors with the largest job growth include education and health services and leisure and hospitality. The government has lost more jobs than any other sector.
The news of the state's rebound comes as the stock market tanked Thursday as national unemployment numbers hit a three-month high.