The Town of Smithtown's unemployment rate has held steady at 6.3 percent, showing a slight improvement over last year. However, economists warn there are further job losses in the private sector.
Smithtown's unemployment rate is down 0.2 percent from 6.5 percent in September 2010, according to data released by the New York State Department of Labor on Tuesday. However, the unemployment rate was also 6.3 percent in August 2011.
It's estimated there are approximately 3,800 Smithtown residents are filing for unemployment benefits.
The town's unemployment rate is significant lower than Suffolk County's at 7.0 percent, down from 7.3 percent in September 2010, and Long Island's at 6.9 percent, also down from 7.2 percent one year ago.
Despite unemployment rates dropping year-over-year, labor statistics showed the local economy is losing jobs.
The Department of Labor reported the private job sector on Long Island lost nearly 8,100 jobs over the past year, down 0.8 percent, to 1,016,700 job in September 2011. Leisure and hospitality jobs were the hardest hit losing 5,500 positions, followed by education and health services which shed 2,000 jobs and manufacturing eliminating 2,000 positions.
In addition, Long Island government employment declined by 4,7000 jobs.
that two things were creating a lower unemployment rate despite a shrinking number of jobs.
Crowell said many discouraged workers are no longer seeking work, and are not counted among unemployed. Also, many unemployed workers have started looking for work off Long Island.
Two areas that continue to add jobs are professional and businesses services, up 2,300 positions, and natural resources, mining and contruction added 1,300 jobs.