Brooklyn’s Unemployment At 14.1% As Residents Drop Out Of Labor Force

New York State Department of Labor released September employment data today showing that unemployment in Brooklyn fell to 14.1% from 16.5% in August.

That could be considered as good news, except it did not drop because those unemployed found employment – both the number of unemployed and employed residents fell resulting in a shrinkage of the labor market.

The number of unemployed dropped by 36.1 thousand residents, and the number of employed Brooklynites fell by 16.2 thousand – a total  drop in the labor force of 52.3 thousand between August and September. That means over 50,000 neighbors opted out from paid employment.


“Unfortunately, the NYS survey is too small to reliably estimate demographic characteristics of the labor force,” Elena Volovelsky, Principal Economist at NYS Labor Department explained. “The main reasons people leave the labor force are retirement, becoming a full-time student, staying at home with the kids, or not looking for a job for longer than a month. All those go up during recessions.”

Other reasons for people dropping out of the labor market include “childcare costs may outweigh the benefits of work, especially for those on the lower end of the income spectrum,” Volovelsky added, saying that the drop in the labor force last month was probably a combination of all those, and that those who haven’t actively looked for a job in the last four weeks are not counted in the survey that is basis for the unemployment numbers.

Currently 158,000 Brooklynites are without a job, up form 42,000 in February. NYC unemployment rate was 13.9% in September, NYS was at 9.4%.

Have you dropped out of the labor market? What was your reason? We’d love to hear your story. Email

share this story

Liena Zagare

Editor of Tips? Complaints? Suggestions? Email me at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *