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Long Island jobless rate inches down to 7.8%

Participants at a job fair at Hofstra University

Participants at a job fair at Hofstra University earlier this month. Credit: Newsday file

 Long Island’s unemployment rate inched down to 7.8 percent in February, down from 7.9 in January, according tostate data released this afternoon.

The current rate is lower than the 8.3 percent in February 2010, when the local economy was still mired in a recession. But the latest number is still substantially above the pre-recession 4.7 percent in February 2008.

Rockville Centre had the lowest jobless rate on the Island in February -5.8 percent- while Hempstead Village had the highest - 11.2 percent.

The latest report debuts the state Labor Department’s new policy of issuing the employment and unemployment numbers separately. The employment numbers are still released on the second or third Thursday of the month. But the unemployment data are now issued the following Tuesday.

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