Yesterday, the NY State Department of Labor revealed that statewide unemployment rose from 7.7% in April to 8.2% in May, while NYC unemployment hit 9.0% in May, after being at 8.0% in April: "The state's private sector job count has now dropped for nine consecutive months. Since the state's private sector job count peaked in August 2008, New York has lost 212,200 private sector jobs, erasing more than half of the 400,000 jobs added during the state's last economic expansion from 2003 to 2008."

Drilling down into the NYC data, the NY Times finds, "The figures showed that there were about 361,000 unemployed people in the city, more than at any time during the recession that surrounded the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and the largest number of city residents out of work since 1993." The most recent job losses were in the areas of "communications media, advertising and other information services, as well as in finance and education," which offset job gains in tourism-related fields and construction. Labor Department analyst James Brown said, "Although the unemployment rate actually dipped slightly in three of the last five months, the trend is still strongly upward. Despite some positive notes, the city’s job market is still weak and the weakest areas — financial activities and professional and business services — will not resume growth until after the national economy improves."

Governor David Paterson issued a statement about the grim unemployment news and implored the State Senate to get back to work: "Today’s unemployment report from the Department of Labor is further proof that these are serious times in New York State that require the full attention of every elected member of the Legislature. There are now more than 800,000 New Yorkers without jobs, and the statewide unemployment rate has reached a 16-year high. At the current rate, while the Senate has failed to do any work over the last seven session days, approximately 5,000 New Yorkers have lost their jobs. This is not a time for politics and power grabs by lawmakers. This is a time for action, and for placing the people’s interests above personal interests... Enough is enough. If Senators do not wish to go to work, there are more than 800,000 New Yorkers ready to take their jobs - and salary - today.