New York’s unemployment rate didn’t budge in February

The unemployment rate in New York stayed flat in February, holding at 4.2%, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced. 

The addition of 21,200 jobs in the private sector was a 0.3% increase, but was not enough to budge the state’s jobless rate, which remains higher than the national average of 3.6%. 

New York’s labor force participation rate increased slightly from 60.5% to 60.6%, but is still below pre-pandemic levels. 

The state lost about 2 million jobs in the immediate wake of the closure of public gathering spaces and business three years ago. The hospitality and tourism sectors of the state’s economy were hit especially hard by the initial closure. 

State officials have estimated jobs will not fully return to pre-pandemic employment for another several years this decade.

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