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ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 7 – The not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rate for New York state plunged 6.4% in December 2021 from a year ago, down from 15.9 percent to 9.5 percent. In comparison, the national rate dropped to 5 percent, down 4.6 percent from where it was a year ago according to a state-by-state analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors. Despite a decrease in construction industry unemployment, New York still ranks 49th worst in the country, ahead of only Alaska.

This ranking is no surprise to ABC’s Empire State Chapter and should be unsurprising for anyone in New York’s construction industry or in business, in general, in the state.

“New York state continues to pass anti-business legislation that creates one of the worst economic climates in the nation, effectively eliminating any chance of success for businesses in this state,” said ABC Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson. “The tax climate in New York is terrible; businesses can’t afford to grow and create new jobs here so our unemployment levels will continue to rank as some of the worst in the country as long as the State continues along its current path.”

More pro-business states, with better tax climates, are seeing businesses grow and create jobs, thus far lower unemployment rates for the construction industry in those states. The five states with the lowest December 2021 estimated, not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates were:

1. Nebraska, 1.3%
2. Indiana and Utah (tie), 1.5%
4. Georgia, 1.6%
5. Oklahoma, 2%

The five states with the highest estimated, not seasonally adjusted construction unemployment rates are:

46. New Jersey, 8.3%
47. Michigan, 8.6%
48. North Dakota, 9%
49. New York, 9.5%
50. Alaska, 10%

Click here to view graphs of overall unemployment rates and construction unemployment rates showing the impact of the pandemic, including a graphing tool that creates a chart for multiple states.

To better understand the basis for calculating unemployment rates and what they measure, check out the Background on State Construction Unemployment Rates.

The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, part of a national construction industry trade association established in 1950, was founded on the merit shop philosophy. ABC Empire State Chapter helps its more than 400 members develop skilled tradesmen and women, submit winning bids for work and deliver that work in a safe, ethical and timely manner for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.
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