Jobless Rate Dips Slightly; Self-Employment Resources Extended; Job Prospects in Science Remain Strong

August 22, 2011

The most recent unemployment data reveals that New Yorkís economy gained 14,100 private sector jobs in July, or 0.2%, since last month, according to the State Labor Department. The department also estimates that since the stateís economic recovery began in November 2009, New York has recouped just over 57 percent, or 188,100, of the private sector jobs lost during the 2008-2009 recession. The state unemployment rate is at 8 percent. We still have a ways to go in growing private sector jobs, as the national unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent.

State Extends Assistance to Grow Small Business

There was good news for private sector job growth. The State Legislature extended the Self-Employment Assistance Program. The measure was signed by the Governor July 15. I was happy to support this program in the Assembly. This program allows people who are receiving unemployment to maintain their eligibility while starting their own business. This has helped small businesses emerge. According to the state, over 4,000 jobs have been created and $16 million in state tax revenue generated since this program became available. This program helps individuals who are likely to exhaust their regular unemployment insurance benefits to develop and establish small businesses in New York.

Qualified individuals participate in a rigorous program that consists of specific benchmarks they must comply with in order to stay in the program. A participant must complete a minimum of 20 hours of entrepreneurial training, meet a minimum of two times with a certified business counselor, create a business plan and send periodic reports to their Department of Labor coordinator.

Science and Engineering Professionals needed

One area that shows signs of growth is science and engineering. Long-term occupational projections from the Division of Research and Statistics estimate that science and engineering jobs in the state will grow much faster than other job titles over the next decade, according to the State Department of Labor. These professionals often earn well above the average salary. According to a newsletter published by the State Department of Labor last month, the median annual wage for scientist and engineers in New York was $76,800. Projections show a greater need for these types of professionals. The Department of Labor could also advise those interested on what kind of schooling they would need in order to become skilled to obtain this type of employment.

There are a variety of resources available at the State Department of Laborís website if you are looking for work, or if youíre considering a career change. I would encourage you to visit their outreach centers. In Onondaga County, itís called CNY Works, at 443 North Franklin St., Lower Level, Syracuse, NY 13204. They can be reached at (315) 473-8250 or at In Oswego County, people can visit Oswego Workforce New York at 200 North Second St., Fulton, NY 13069. They can be reached at (315) 591-9000 or at The State Department of Labor site, however, has updated several job search options and recently expanded its website to include: current job openings; job fairs; a section called GreenCareerNY; directory of possible employers; jobs in the news. These can be accessed at

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also can find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.