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Job numbers take massive dip

Joseph Abraham - Co-editor
Posted 5/25/20

SULLIVAN COUNTY -- The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the job market was finally reflected in preliminary data released by the NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) on Thursday evening.

According to the …

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Job numbers take massive dip

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SULLIVAN COUNTY -- The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the job market was finally reflected in preliminary data released by the NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) on Thursday evening.

According to the NYSDOL, for the 12-month period ending April 2020, the private sector job count in the Hudson Valley fell by 183,700, or 22.5 percent, which they say is the largest decline in the history of the current series (dating back to 1990). It also brought the private sector job count to its lowest April level since 1994.

Sullivan County saw a year-over-year decline of 8.7 percent (down to 26,300 nonfarm jobs compared to 28,800 in April 2019). The largest loss was in the leisure and hospitality sector, with a 31 percent decline from 4,200 to 2,900 jobs. The Trade, Transportation and Utilities category declined 11.6 percent with 500 jobs lost, while the Other Services category went from 1,000 jobs to 900, a decline of 10 percent.

Sullivan County Manager Josh Potosek has been in the Regional Control Room, consisting of the leaders of each county in the region, monitoring the reopening efforts and criteria.

“The numbers are terrible both regionally and statewide. But they aren't a surprise, considering what we're all facing, and the County and its economic development agencies have been working for weeks to plan our recovery,” Potosek said. “While I anticipate tourism will rebound and remain one of our top industries, these latest figures reinforce the need to continue diversifying our economy.”

Potosek said that they have development already in the works with an ice manufacturing company, Apple Ice, who is in active negotiations to purchase County property at their nascent light industry park behind the former Apollo Plaza in Monticello.

“Our Legislature has made broadband expansion a priority, to grow traditional and home-based businesses (and educational opportunities) in currently underserved regions of the County. Telecommuting isn't in the future - it's here now,” said Potosek. “As soon as we're off NYS on PAUSE, our Recovery Working Group will be working directly with any business that needs help to get back on its feet -- logistically, operationally and financially. Our success depends on their success.”

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