04/20/2012 09:35 am ET

New York City Unemployment Despite New Hires

New York City's unemployment rate rose from 9.6 percent in February to 9.7 percent in March, (the national rate is 8.1 percent) despite the city and state of New York regaining the private sector jobs lost during the recession.

According to Department of Labor statistics, employment in the city's private sector has increased 2.1 percent over the last 12 months, a rise of 68,700 jobs. In the first three months of 2012, the city has created some 42,000 jobs, the largest three month gain in 12 years.

Reuters also reports:

The Independent Budget Office now expects a total of 435,000 workers to be hired from 2011 to 2016 - 172,500 more than previously - mainly in education, health care, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and trade


And yet, James P. Brown, principal economist for the New York Department of Labor, tells The New York Times, "The unemployment rate continues to trend upward and, at this point, the increase is significant,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s gone up pretty steadily this year.”

So, what gives?

Brown also points out to The Times that the city continues to lure job-seekers, which can increase unemployment rates until the newbies find work.

Meanwhile, another recent report finds that the poverty rate in New York City rose 1.3 percent in 2010, to 21 percent--the largest increase since the city ad0pted a new definition of poverty in 2005.