Ups and downs for unemployment, jobs

By Candace Chapman

April 2, 2013 Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) February unemployment in the Binghamton Metropolitan area remained unchanged from February 2012. The unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. The number of private sector jobs did grow over the year by 200 to 81,900.

The rate is down from 10.2 percent in January and month to month the number of private sector jobs grew by 400.

The area continues to bleed jobs in in manufacturing. From February 2012 to February 2013, the area lost 800 jobs in the manufacturing industry. When it comes to specifically computer and electronic manufacturing, the loss is 1,100 jobs over the year. Government has shed 800 jobs.

However, there have been increases in private service providing jobs, up 1,300. That is largely attributed to gains in areas of Health and Education Services and Leisure and Hospitality.

Looking at the Southern Tier Region as a whole, the unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, up 0.2 percent from February 2012. However, the number of private sector jobs grew by 1,500 over the year to 230,400.

In his report, Labor Department analyst Christian Harris noted the region's economy continues to slowly recover from the Great Recession.

Harris said losses in manufacturing look to be related to a long term structural change in the make up of local economy. However, he believes strength in dairy manufacturing and higher education will expand the employment base.

Harris cited Chobani in New Berlin which has captured 17 percent of the overall US yogurt market. Also, Binghamton University's NYSUNY 2020 Plan which will allow the university to increase student enrollment by 2,000 and add 150 faculty by 2016. The plan is expected to create 800 jobs for the overall economy.

Unemployment by county for February 2013 compared to February 2012:

Broome County 9.5 percent, down 0.1 percent

Chemung County 10.2 percent, up 1.2 percent

Chenango County 9.2 percent, down 0.5 percent

Cortland County 10.1 percent, down 0.1 percent

Delaware County 10.4 percent, up 0.5 percent

Otsego County 9.3 percent, down 0.1 percent

Steuben County 11.7 percent, up 0.9 percent

Tioga County 9.8 percent, up 0.4 percent

Tompkins County 5.8 percent, down 0.4 percent