St. Lawrence County unemployment rate now highest in North Country


NEW YORK (WWTI) — New data has confirmed unemployment rates across the state, including areas in the North Country.

On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Labor released preliminary local area unemployment rates for July 2021. Statewide, the unemployment rate is continuing to decrease following a spike during the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.7% in June to 7.6% in July 2021.

Specifically in the North Country, compared to July 2020, the Watertown-Fort Drum metro area unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% to 5.5%. Non-metro counties in the state logged a similar decrease of 11% to 5.4%.

By county, St. Lawrence County remains to have the highest unemployment rate in the tri-county area. Its rate for July 2021 was confirmed to be 6.1%, with Jefferson’s being 5.5% and Lewis County having the lowest of 5.2%. Data detailing employed, unemployed and rate of unemployment by place of residence for the month of July is listed below:

EmployedUnemployedUnemployment rate
July 2021July 2020Net changeJuly 2021July 2020Net changeJuly 2021July 2020Net Change
St. Lawrence 38.337.4+
Source: New York State Department of Labor, Division of Research and Statistics

The chart below also lists unemployment rates across all New York metro areas. The area with the highest rate continues to be New York City. Unemployment rates are compared to the same time frame in 2020.

July 2020July 2021
Buffalo-Niagara Falls13.2%5.8%
Glens Falls9.8%4.8%
New York City18.8%10.2%
Watertown-Fort Drum10.7%5.5%
Non-metro counties11.0%5.4%
The data in the preceding table are not seasonally adjusted, which means they reflect seasonal influences. Revised estimates for prior months are available at:

Rates released by the Department of Labor are calculated using methods prescribed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rates rely in part on the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in the state each month.

All data included in this report has not been seasonally adjusted. Data for each month is revised the following month as more complete information becomes available.

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