Cheer up recent grads, the unemployment level here in New York City in April dipped to 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in March and 9.8 percent in April 2010, according to the New York State Labor Board. Though it doesn't take into account people who have simply stopped looking for jobs, the new numbers are the lowest for New York since March 2009.

The labor department doesn't break down monthly employment changes in the city that take into account seasonal changes in hiring, but a private economist calculated for the Times that the city added 7,600 private-sector jobs last month. The one industry where the city is lagging behind national trends is manufacturing, which the economist tells the paper is “thriving in the U.S. but not so in New York.” Shame we didn't get that taxi plant in Brooklyn!

Despite the uptick the city still had roughly 69,000 fewer jobs last month than it had in April 2008, before things went crazy. But that is only a decline of two percent from the peak, not bad compared to the rest of the country where the drop is still about five percent.