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February unemployment rates in Lewis, Jefferson counties are upstate’s highest

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Lewis and Jefferson counties posted two of the three highest unemployment rates in the state in February, according to statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor.

Lewis County had the second highest rate at 10.9 percent, up from 10.2 percent in January; Jefferson County was the third highest at 10.5 percent, up from 10 percent the previous month. Bronx County had the highest rate at 12 percent. St. Lawrence County’s jobless rate was 9.7 percent in February, up from 9.5 percent in January.

Still, jobless rates in the north country are down from February 2013, when unemployment was 12.4 percent in Lewis County, 11.7 percent in Jefferson County and 10.8 percent in St. Lawrence County.

The February jobless rate for all of upstate was 7.6 percent, down from 8.8 percent a year ago. The statewide rate fell from 8.6 percent to 7.7 percent during the same period, while the national rate fell from 8.1 percent to 7 percent.

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