The Mayor touted the news that NYC's unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% last month, saying, "News that our average unemployment rate in 2006 was the lowest on record is yet another example how New York's recovery from 9/11 is exceeding our wildest dreams." The unemployment rate has been below 5% September through December, which Crain's says is the "first below-5% performance since the 1980's." (The record low was in October, when the rate was 4.1%.) And in December of 2005, the NYC unemployment rate was 5.8%.
While low unemployment sounds good, some critics questioned the data. City Councilman Charles Barron told the NY Sun that neighborhoods filled with minorities still have very high unemployment rates. And workers' rights group Jobs with Justice pointed out that some people, though employed, do not make a living wage or have health insurance.
How is the unemployment rate calculated? It's based on surveys from household and employers. Here is the official NY State Department of Labor press release.