Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was pleased to receive information from the State Department of Labor verifying that Putnam County’s unemployment rate continues to decrease as it dropped to a low of 4.1 percent as of the end of December 2014. Putnam County ranks first in the Hudson Valley region and second in the state for having the lowest unemployment rate during the same time frame.

According to the state statistics, Putnam’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.2 percent in November 2014 to an end-of-year rate of 4.1 percent. The previous December, (2013) Putnam’s unemployment rate was listed at 4.8 percent showing unemployment has declined steadily over the last year. The continued improvement is a welcomed change from December 2012, when Putnam County’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percent.

Putnam’s 4.1 percent is significantly lower than the New York State unemployment rate of 5.7 percent and the county’s rate of 5.4 percent.

“Naturally, I am pleased that Putnam ranks so high on this list. My hope is to see Putnam ranked No. 1 for having the lowest unemployment in the state,” Odell said. “Our residents are highly qualified and well-trained, professional and non-professional alike. Many of our working men and women choose to live and raise their families here in our beautiful county even while they work elsewhere.”

Education plays a significant role in Putnam’s high ranking for low unemployment as Putnam’s Director of Personnel Paul Eldridge pointed out.

“For many years Putnam County has enjoyed an educated and skilled workforce, with a high percentage per capita of persons with a Bachelor’s degree or highly skilled training. This makes them more attractive to employers both in Putnam County and neighboring areas.  With the added advantage of availability to the Metro-North Railroad and two superhighways, our residents have easy access to employment opportunities in surrounding counties,” said Eldridge.

Tompkins County held the lowest unemployment rate of 3.5 percent while nearby Rockland, Dutchess and Westchester counties ranked 4th and tied for 8th respectively. Rockland’s unemployment rate for December 2014 was 4.3 percent while Dutchess and Westchester both had rates of 4.6 percent.