Responding to the unemployment figures presented at a meeting of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, Amy Miller, Commissioner Yates County Department of Social Services, offers detailed figures on unemployment and public assistance recipients.

She says 36 people were receiving unemployment benefits in Yates County in May.  

Those who collect benefits must be ready, willing, and able to work, and actively looking for work during each week in which they are claiming benefits, she says.

“It is true that statewide the unemployment rate is low,” she adds, “but I would caution anyone to remember that this rate does not count people who are no longer looking for work or people who are underemployed.”

At the end of May there were 102 Temporary Assistance cases in Yates County:

• 41 were Safety Net cases (individuals or couples without children)

• 61 were Family Assistance (adults with children).

• The total unduplicated count of individuals on this assistance in May was 146.

“You can see that this is less than 1% of our population,” says Miller, adding that it is similar to the rate in the surrounding counties.

“What is more concerning to me is that there are 1,320 individuals on Medicaid and 1,958 individuals on Food Stamps (SNAP),” Miller emphasizes. “The vast majority of Food Stamp cases are working families who need assistance, likely due to underemployment and low wages.”  Again, Miller says, these figures are in line with the percentages of the population on assistance in the surrounding counties.