May unemployment numbers released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor show fewer people are out of work than last year in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
All three counties posted lower unemployment rates compared with May 2012: Jefferson County decreased from 9.6 to 9 percent, Lewis from 9.9 to 9.3 percent and St. Lawrence from 10.2 to 9.2 percent. Jobless rates also dropped in the region from April to May. Jefferson County decreased from 10.2 to 9 percent, Lewis from 10.7 to 9.3 percent and St. Lawrence from 9.8 to 9.2 percent.
Despite the improved numbers, the three counties posted some of the highest unemployment rates statewide. Lewis has the second worst rate, St. Lawrence is tied for third with Oswego and Jefferson County is fourth.
The jobless rate for the 52-county upstate region improved in May, dropping from 8.2 to 7.2 percent compared with May 2012. Statewide, the rate fell from 8.4 to 7.4 percent over the period.