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Unemployment in Cayuga County experienced its typical month-to-month increase in the first month of 2019.

Figures released this week by the state Department of Labor put the Cayuga County jobless rate 5.1 percent. That's a full point above the level for December, a month that typically sees extra retail employment for the holiday shopping season.

Cayuga County's January rate was well below the 6.4 percent figure reported for January 2018, and it was the lowest rate for any January since it was at 5.0 percent in 2001.

The county rate did exceed both the state (4.6 percent) and national (4.4 percent) rates. Those figures were not adjusted for typical seasonal fluctuations. Out of 62 counties statewide, Cayuga's January unemployment rate was 35th lowest. Hamilton County's 8.3 percent was highest while Nassau County's 3.5 percent was lowest.

The Cayuga County year-over-year labor market improvement was driven by both an increase in the number of residents working (up 900 to 34,400) and a decrease in unemployed residents (down 400 to 1,900).

In a separate report issued last week, the labor department said employers within Cayuga County's borders filled 24,200 jobs in January, down 700 from a year ago. Private sector jobs, at 18,400, dropped by 500 while government jobs decreased by 200.

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