The unemployment rate in the Syracuse area rose to 5.6 percent in March, from 5.2 percent in the same month last year.
The state unemployment rate also rose, from 4.7 percent in March of 2017 to 4.8 percent last month. The national unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, from 4.6 percent in March last year.
According to the state Department of Labor, there were 17,000 people unemployed in the Syracuse metropolitan area (Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties) in March, an increase of 9,000 from the same month last year. At the same time, the number of employed residents fell from 292,000 to 285,100.
The area's civilian labor force – the total number of people working or looking for work – has been shrinking. It fell from 308,100 in March of 2017 to 302,000 last month.
The rise in unemployment occurred despite an increase in the number of jobs in the area. There were 1,500 more jobs, including an increase of 1,000 in the private sector, in March compared with the same month last year.