Updated 07/25/2012 09:35 PM
Orange, Sullivan and Ulster County unemployment rates on the rise
Unemployment rates in the Hudson Valley are on the rise. Last month Orange, Sullivan and Ulster had some of the highest figures since 1990. YNN’s Venise Toussaint has the story.
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HUDSON VALLEY -- Jennifer Stewart, a mother of two, has been unemployed since losing her job in March, every day since then she says she’s been tirelessly searching for work.
“I just want to be able to support my family, feed my children and I would love to remain in New York State,” She said.
Stewart is one of thousands who come to the Orange Works Employment and Training Center in Middletown looking for assistance in finding a job.
According to the State Department of Labor unemployment rates in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties for last month were at the highest levels seen in any month of June since 1990.
Orange County had a rate of 8.7 percent, Sullivan at 9.8 percent and Ulster at 9.1 percent. Local employment officials say the staggering numbers are attributed to an uptick in people seeking jobs.
“The philosophy is that there are more people back in the labor market, folks who may have gotten discouraged four or five months ago, they’ve now put their feet back in the water to get back to work,” said Steve Knob, Director of the Orange County Employment and Training Administration.
But not all the numbers are bleak, Department of Labor analysts say there have been nearly 12,000 jobs created in the region last month.
"Some companies are in an expansion mode," said Lee Shorr, a Business Service Representative for Orange Works.
One local company expanding business and hiring is the cardboard manufacturing company Presidential Container Group.
“We have people who are out of Wall Street to people who have never worked a day in their life,” said Presidential Container Group Human Resources manager, Hope Godchaux.
The company currently employs a little over 200 people and held a job fair this week looking to fill 35 new positions.
“I’d say about 300 people, the cars were lined up to Ballard Road and that was a good turnout,” said Presidential Container Group Vice President, Richard Goldberg.
Statewide unemployment claims have reportedly dropped to 8.5 percent since this time last year and the number of people re-entering the labor force has risen 7 percent, a pinch of optimism for job seekers like Jennifer Stewart.
“I figure something will change. I’ll get a job one day, ” Stewart said.