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’s 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