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Madison County unemployment numbers expected to rise in the coming months

August was the worst month for unemployment since numbers reported by the state in 1992, according to a report distributed by Lorraine Schmidtka, director of the county's Employment and Training Services Department, at the Sept. 22 meeting of the Social and Mental Health Services committee.

"Still, the number is coming in down a little bit," Schmidtka said. "I'm not sure what's going on. I believe this is the calm before the storm, and we've probably got some discouraged workers."

Supervisors asked if the decline could be attributed to people leaving the area to seek work elsewhere.

"Some are probably moving, but that's not so much the case," Schmidtka said. "I think they feel there's no jobs out there."

Acting County Administrator Paul Miller suggested the numbers might be worse had it not been for the unseasonably warm weather of late.

Schmidtka said Madison County's 5.6 percent unemployment rate was in line with the same number at the state level. Those figures do not include unemployed individuals whose benefits have run out and who have not yet found work.

Supervisor James Goldstein (D,C,I -- Lebanon) said next month's reports would likely tell a different story in the state.

"I think we're going to see big changes in New York City," Goldstein said. "You've got 10,000 people out of work from one brokerage alone."

Schmidtka said that's why she distributed the state report.

"So you could see the differences," Schmidtka said. "It's not a nice economy out there. I don't have to tell you that."

Schmidtka said her department is working on grants and initiatives outside of the ordinary. One of those efforts is the bringing together of a consortium of employers that need computer numerical control machine operators.

"We've brought together people from Onondaga, Oneida and Madison counties, and [Mohawk Valley Community College] has submitted the project to the SUNY system for funding for a training program for them," Schmidtka said. "If they get the money, MVCC will train employees on site."

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