By Jon Campbell
ALBANY New York's unemployment rate fell by one-tenth of a percentage point in June -- just enough to drop it below the national average, according to the state Department of Labor.
The state's rate was 7.5 percent in June, the lowest it has been since February 2009. The national unemployment stayed stagnant at 7.6 percent from May to June, allowing New York to drop below it for the first time in 18 months.
Since June 2012, the state's unemployment rate has fallen from 8.7 percent percent, while the national rate dropped from 8.5 percent.
"Moreover, the state's rate is now below the nation's rate for the first time since December 2011," Bohdan Wynnyk, deputy director of the Labor Department's Division of Research and Statistics, said in a statement.
New York's jobless rate had risen steadily from January 2008, when it was 4.7 percent, through the heights of the recession, when it reached a high of 8.9 percent in December 2009 and January 2010.
The state rate remained higher than 8 percent until April, when it fell to 7.8 percent. Outside of New York City -- which includes all of upstate and Long Island -- unemployment was 6.9 percent in June, according to the Labor Department.
New York added a total of 93,800 non-farm jobs from May to June, a 1.5 percent increase. Only one metropolitan area in the state saw a decrease: Elmira, which saw its job count decline by 400, a 1 percent dip.