Jobless Rates High in Bronx, Brooklyn
By Anjali AthavaleyThe Bronx and Brooklyn continued to post the highest rates of unemployment in the city in June, highlighting the disparity in jobless rates among the five boroughs.
According to non-seasonally adjusted numbers from the state Department of Labor, Bronx’s unemployment rate was 14%, up from 12.1% a year ago. Kings County’s rate rose to 11% from 9.7% a year ago.
Unemployment in New York, Queens and Richmond counties were lower, at 8.8%, 9.3% and 9.4%, respectively. Jobless rates tend to be higher in the Bronx and Brooklyn primarily because of demographic factors like education levels, said Elena Volovelsky, labor market analyst for the Department of Labor.
According to Labor Department numbers released last week, the city added 11,500 private-sector jobs between May and June despite a rising unemployment rate. The two numbers are measured through different means: the unemployment rate comes from a survey of households while the number of jobs added comes from a survey of employers.
There are many theories as to why the two measures don’t add up. Economists point to increases in the labor force, commuters taking jobs, and freelancers getting hired full-time.
Those who are unemployed say looking for work can be frustrating. Steve Jacobs got laid off in February from an advertising agency where he worked as an assistant with some copy-writing duties. Since then, he has applied for hundreds of jobs. He has been taking freelance projects when he can.
“Luckily, I know a lot of people in New York, so I’m not that disheartened just yet,” said Jacobs, 30, who lives in Brooklyn. But he added, “I’m sure every job I’m applying for gets 10,000 other applicants. I feel invisible at times.”