Business

Unemployment Rates Spike Across Tri-State Area

A woman looks for work at a job fair - Queens, NY - Jul 20, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

A woman looks for work at a job fair – Queens, NY – Jul 20, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

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New York (CBSNewYork) – Despite an aggressive campaign of job creation, a new report shows that New York City’s unemployment rate has risen to 10 percent– the same rate seen during the height of the recession in September 2009.

The rise had James Brown, the principal economist with the New York Labor Department, explaining the details of labor growth and stagnation, reported WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Marla Diamond With More On The Story:

“A lot of the growth in New York City has been in industries that are more dominated by commuters, and there’s been a lot of strength in the tech field, which has actually been attracting people to move to the city,” Brown said.

But jobs are just not readily available in the area.

“People are entering the job market looking for work, and so far they haven’t been able to find it,” he added.

Returning war veterans have been especially hard hit, facing more than a 12 percent unemployment rate when they return home, reported WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Ellen McKenzie, who returned from Afghanistan in the fall of 2011, said “we have no jobs to come back home to.”

A job fair hosted in Queens on Friday aimed to put New York area veterans back to work, and Terrance Holiday, of the Mayor’s Office Of Veteran’s Affairs, said he believes things are turning around.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller With More From The Job Fair

“There’s a focus on the part of all employers, not all employers but most employers, who want to hire vets, that, hey, you know, it’s got to go beyond a bumper sticker. And that’s what we are seeing out here today,” Holiday said.

The current rise in unemployment is not exclusive to the city, affecting the entire tri-state area.

NJ Labor Department Commissioner Harold Wirths expanded on the issue, saying, “it’s very tough to explain how you can be creating 15,000 jobs in May, 10,000 jobs in June, and the employment rate ticks up.”

In June, New Jersey reported that unemployment had jumped to 9.6 percent, the largest jump in three years. Connecticut’s rate rose to 8.1 percent.