Cornell: New York unemployment rate likely to surpass 13%

ITHACA, NY — The U.S. Department of Labor is expected to release figures for April’s unemployment rate on Friday. Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) Buffalo Co-Lab, predicts data for New York state will show an unemployment rate of around 13%. Weaver is available to break down the figures for New York and explain what challenges lay ahead for economic recovery.

Weaver says:

“The April 2020 jobs report, to be released Friday, will provide some of the strongest data to date on the scale of COVID-19’s impact on jobs and the economy. Among other things, it will show how the historic levels of unemployment insurance claims made since late March are translating into higher unemployment.

“Some analysts have speculated that the conventional unemployment rate might have reached Great Depression levels. In addition to the ‘official’ unemployment rate, the April data will also give a sense of what is sometimes called the ‘true’ unemployment rate, which includes workers who are marginally attached to the labor force and who are working part time for economic reasons.

“For New York state, internal models developed by the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab are predicting an April 2020 unemployment rate of roughly 13% – and even that might be a ‘conservative’ estimate. Exploring these estimates for New York state and its individual metropolitan regions will provide critical new evidence of the scale of the challenges we face as we begin to plan for economic recovery.”