Around the country, countless businesses and industries are shedding employees as the economic crisis continues to deepen. Unemployment figures now stand at a staggering 7.2 percent, with new layoffs coming everyday. The recession has affected Microsoft who recently announced that it would be laying off nearly 5,000 workers.
New York State is not sheltered from the storm mirroring the nationwide rates at 7 percent, up from 6 percent in December and from 4.8 percent in December of 2007. The New York Times has reported that this is the single largest climb in jobless rates in the 32 year history of the state tracking of such statistics. Adding to this downturn, the article states that private jobs had decreased by 8,000, while normal growth adds around 20,000 private jobs a month.
Additionally, Governor Patterson has recently sought more federal money to ensure that the unemployment benefits will continue uninterrupted, along with money for other essential social services.
Patterson, who asked for upwards of 10 billion dollars from the new Obama administration, hopes to use these funds to continue projects to repair the economy, as well as begin to fill in the massive budget gap that plagues New York. These funds can also prevent an increased tax burden and taking pressure off of New York state residents.
Responding to this increased need, the state has authorized an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those individuals currently on unemployment, and will become available on February 13th of this year. Many analysts predict that this will further burden the already overloaded system, making long term job creation a high priority