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New York City Jobless Rate Falls for Sixth Straight Month to 9.5 Percent

New York City’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for the sixth straight month in June to 9.5 percent, down 0.1 percentage point, as financial companies hired for a fourth consecutive month, the state Labor Department reported.

The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped 0.1 point to 8.2 percent, the lowest since April 2009. The national rate stood at 9.5 percent last month. Initial U.S. jobless claims last week dropped more than 6 percent to 429,000, the least since August 2008, the federal government said today.

New York City added 2,400 financial jobs in June, including 1,600 in securities, to employ 429,100 people in that industry. Over the previous 12 months, financial services lost 4,600 jobs, or 1.1 percent, the report said. Professional and business services added 4,500 jobs in June to 572,700. Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 3,400 to 321,500, the department said.

“While these numbers are not as strong as in recent months, they do continue a trend of improvement in the city labor market,” said James Brown, a labor department economist. The city’s unemployment rate is now a percentage point lower than its peak of 10.5 percent in January 2010, he said.

The number of public employees in the city fell by 11,900, including 5,500 federal workers, many of whom had been hired temporarily by the U.S. Census.

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“The city has added about 8,000 jobs in the month of June, a sign that employers and entrepreneurs share our optimism in New York City’s future,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

The number of city residents participating in the workforce increased to 3.99 million from 3.98 million over the month, Brown said, indicating that the jobless rate decrease didn’t come from “frustrated dropouts not looking for work.”

Statewide, total nonfarm jobs decreased by 22,500, or 0.3 percent, in June, partly because of the loss of 10,000 temporary Census workers. The state lost 8,500 private-sector jobs in June, a period in which the city gained 8,300.

Nonfarm job counts don’t include the self-employed or workers in agriculture, said Peter Neenan, the department’s director of research and statistics.

The unemployment rate measures the percentage of state residents who hold jobs in- or out-of-state, not the total number of jobs within the state, Brown said.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

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