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First flooding, then unemployment for tiny upstate county

ALBANY -- As Cuomo administration officials go back in the field this week to see the impact of Tropical Storm Irene, they need look no further than the new unemployment statistics for battered Schoharie County.

Unemployment figures out today for the state show the rural county west of Albany failed to match the positive trend seen in nearly every other location in the state in September: Its unemployment rate rose rather than fell. 

As the state‚Äôs unemployment rate fell from 8.2 percent in September 2010 to 7.8 percent last month, Schoharie County saw its jobless level jump from 8 percent a year ago to 9.2 percent last month. Nearly everywhere else -- from Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to New York City and Long Island -- saw modest improvements from the previous September.

Just as Irene swept away houses, farms, animals and businesses from whole sections of Schoharie County, jobs also went missing.

For a county the size of Schoharie, the numbers are relatively small: 1,400 were listed as unemployed last month, up 200 people from the previous September. But a walk through the historic village of Schoharie, where many businesses are shuttered, neighborhoods are missing houses that have been demolished, and places like the local B&B are on the market, questions still remain about ow the state will be able to help it  rebuild.

The jobless figures come as some state lawmakers are pushing for new bailout measures for the affected counties in the eastern parts of the state.

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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