03/09/2012 10:27 am ET

Bloomberg Touts NYC Jobs Recovery Despite High Unemployment Rate

A new report is revealing the city added 71,400 private-sector jobs in 2011, an overall 2.3 percent gain in the past year.

The data also shows that January was a big win for the city's economy with record-breaking growth adding 31,200 jobs in a single month.

Mayor Bloomberg announced in a statement:

We now know that New York City’s economy has exceeded previous estimates, fared better than the country as a whole, and outperformed other cities. New York City added private sector jobs at a rate almost 60 percent greater than the country as a whole in 2011, and over the last two years, New York City created more jobs than the next 10 largest cities combined.

Despite the encouraging numbers, the report also shows a disconcerting rise in the city's unemployment rate with 9.3 percent recorded in January, up from 9.1 percent from December. This time last year, the rate was only at 8.9 percent.

Economist at the State Labor Department James Brown acknowledged the contrasting figures, "Our industries have been performing well. They’re generating jobs. It’s quite unusual to get strong job growth for a long period of time and not have the unemployment rate go down."

In December, a similarly enthusiastic Bloomberg touted the city's crime rate had gone down in 2011, despite statistics indicating major crime had seen a slight .04 percent uptick.

Both Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were quick to attribute the rise to 2010's inclusion of a new crime, strangulation. Had strangulation not been labeled a felony, overall crime would have decreased by 1.2 percent.

This past Tuesday, activists gathered in Lower Manhattan to focus on the unemployment rate by handing out pink slips to bystanders with the message, "The next pink slip might have your name on it."