In the 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, the five county region had 209,225 people 16 and over in the labor force or roughly 56.1% of that labor force population. This is lower than New York State (63.2%) and the United States (63.4%).
Only two counties (Clinton and Warren) have shown a decrease in the number of establishments from 2011 – 2018. There has also been a decrease in the number of retail trade establishments in that seven year period within all the counties, however, this still remains one of the major industries in the region. All five counties have seen an increase in the number of accommodation and food service establishments, as well as an increase in health care and social assistance establishments in Essex, Hamilton, and Warren Counties. In total, there has been a loss of 105 establishments throughout the region since 2011 (2% decrease).
The majority of the full-time, year round workers within the LC-LG region earn between $25,000 and $64,999 per year.
Although unemployment rates have decreased since the end of the national recession, they still fluctuate above and below the state and national averages during any given year. Typically, the only time that rates go below the state and national average are within the summer months.
Normally, Hamilton County typically has the highest unemployment rate within the winter months, many times reaching double digits, which can be attributed to the higher rate of employment within the natural resource extraction and accommodations industries during the summer months. Essex and Warren Counties also have a high fluctuation in unemployment rates between summer and winter months, with much higher unemployment beginning in November and decreasing again in May.
In 2020, businesses across New York State were forced to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, unemployment levels were three times higher than normal, however, these rates were consistent with the state and national rates.
While unemployment rates were exceptionally high in the beginning of 2020, from August through December unemployment rates for the LCLG region returned closer to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, during this period of 2020, the unemployment rates throughout LCLG region were significantly less than state and national rates.