Judging by the latest unemployment and job numbers, it sure looks bleak for local job seekers.
But is it really?
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Local economists for months have been saying they think a glitch in the state Labor Department's statistics are making the Buffalo Niagara region's job and unemployment numbers look worse than it really is.
And December's numbers sure don't paint a pretty picture. The local unemployment rate jumped to a three-year high of 8.6 percent last month, the labor department said. And last week, the department reported that the region has lost 2,100 jobs over the past year.
Economists, however, say the numbers appear flawed because of a glitch in the data that, over the past year, says the region has lost nearly one of every seven jobs in a job classification that includes administrative, support, waste management and remediation services workers.
Those economists say they expect that glitch, which now says the region has lost 4,000 jobs within that category during the past year, to be corrected - and the drop vastly reduced - when revised figures are released early in March.
- David Robinson