The region’s unemployment rate improved in March, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Labor Department.
The Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area had an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent last month, down from 9.9 percent in February and 9.7 percent in March 2012. The Glens Falls MSA consists of Warren and Washington counties. It is one of 14 MSAs in the state.
“I think we’re just continuing the trends we’ve been seeing,” said Capital Region Labor Market Analyst James Ross. “In terms of job growth, it’s 1.2 percent, which makes (the Glens Falls MSA) one of the stronger areas in the state. The state average is up just under 1 percentage point.”
There were a total of 52,700 employed residents of the Glens Falls MSA in March, up from 52,100 in March 2012, according to Tuesday’s report.
Ross said the Ithaca, Kingston, Nassau-Suffolk and New York City MSAs were the only regions that saw stronger year-to-year job growth for March.
The biggest gains in the Glens Falls MSA were seen in the “professional and business services” employment sector, which added 400 jobs — the Labor Department rounds to the nearest 100 — from March 2012 to last month, Ross said.
“Those are a lot of the higher-level service jobs; lawyers offices, engineering services, consulting business services and accountants are all in there,” Ross said. The sector also includes back-office and administrative support jobs, he said.
The Glens Falls MSA’s economy is heavily reliant on the tourism industry, so March usually marks the turning point for the job market. In fact, there were 200 more jobs reported in the “leisure & hospitality” employment sector last month than a year ago, and those numbers are expected to swell faster starting in April.
The onset of the summer tourism season usually pushes the region’s jobless rate below the statewide unemployment rate, where it typically remains until the end of the season.