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Joblessness in Queens below city rate at 9%

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Queens and Staten Island tied for the boroughs with the lowest unemployment rates in the city in a new study conducted by a nonprofit agency, but minorities in many Queens neighborhoods are feeling the pinch nonetheless.

The borough’s rate for the third quarter of 2009 was 9 percent, ahead of Manhattan at 9.1 percent, Brooklyn at 10.9 percent and the Bronx at a whopping 13 percent, according to the nonpartisan research group Fiscal Policy Institute. The citywide average was 10 percent, the group found.

Of the borough’s regions, southeast Queens was the worst, with 12.2 percent unemployment. The Woodhaven-Howard Beach area was next with 11.4 percent. Northwest Queens, which includes Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside, came in third with 8.3 percent of the workforce unemployed.

In the southeast, black men had it the worst, with 22 percent unemployed, followed by Hispanic women at 11 percent. In Woodhaven-Richmond Hill, Hispanic men led the pack with 17 percent unemployed, followed by “other” men, possibly including the area’s South Asian and Guyanese population, at 15 percent. In northwest Queens, white women had the highest unemployment levels at 13 percent, followed by black women at 12 percent.

James Parrott, the group’s chief economist, warned that unemployment rates were the highest in neighborhoods that had the lowest median income level — 15.3 percent in neighborhoods where the median was between $20,000 and $30,000 compared with 6.9 percent in neighborhoods where the median ranged from $80,000 to $100,000.

“Wall Street might be recovering, but the recession rages on in New York City’s Main Street neighborho­ods,” he said in a statement.

The study also found that citywide unemployment was 7.3 percent for white non-Hispanics, 15.7 percent for black non-Hispanics, 11.8 percent for Hispanics and 6.1 percent for the Asian and other category.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Updated 10:27 am, October 12, 2011
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