Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Fewer people are unemployed in the city of Lockport, although that could be attributed to kids returning to school last month, according to figures from the state labor department.
About 900 residents were reported jobless in September, a rate of about 8.6 percent, down from the 1,100 reported in August, which was 9.8 percent unemployment, but the same 900 reported for September 2011, which then was an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent in the city.
Unemployment in Niagara County dropped to 9,300 people, or 8.5 percent in September, down from 10,300 residents or 9.2 percent in August. The number was up from 8,500 unemployed or 7.7 percent a year ago. The entire Buffalo Niagara Falls region saw unemployment rise to 8.4 percent for September, less than the reported 8.8 percent in August but higher than the 7.7 percent from a year ago.
The mixed results are a product of typical autumn drop in employment, as fewer people are looking for work at this time, said John Slenker, a labor market analyst.
“Usually it’s because kids are back in school,” Slenker said. “The rates are higher than we like to see them, it’s the highest September rate since 2009.”
Last week the state labor department reported New York’s unemployment dropped to 8.2 percent last month, staying flat from a year ago but down from 8.8. percent in August. There were roughly 783,500 people throughout the state without a job last month, down from 844,500 in August but up from 773,600 in September 2011.
The Buffalo Niagara Falls region lost 400 jobs last month, according to the state labor department. It was the second month in a row the region lost jobs.
Slenker said the service industry took a hit in September, making up for a large chunk of the drop. Still, it’ll take some time to see if the economy is just having a down month or if there is a problem.
“We’ll have to wait and see if it continues,” Slenker said. “We’ve had solid growth for the most part over the last two years, so two months in a row is too early to say if the economy is slowing.”
In October and November, hiring tends to pick up as the holidays get closer, Slenker said.
“They’re usually very good months,” he said.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.