Ryan Solan of Merrick, meets with Sharon Crane Priest of...

Ryan Solan of Merrick, meets with Sharon Crane Priest of KForce Finance and Accounting during a jobs fair at the Melville Marriot, Oct. 12, 2017. Credit: Johnny Milano

Long Island’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in October, unchanged from a year earlier, the state Labor Department said Tuesday.

The number of unemployed residents rose by 1,500 to 61,200. The number of employed Long Islanders also rose, by 15,500 to 1.42 million.

“Although the unemployment rate remained unchanged on a year-over-year basis, today’s report represented an improvement in labor-market conditions on Long Island,” said Shital Patel, labor market analyst in the department’s Hicksville office. “There was a large increase in the number of employed residents in the region, as people re-enter the labor force due to better prospects in the job market.”

As more people enter the labor market, the unemployment rate tends to rise.

Since 2015, October’s rate has hovered in the low 4-percent range, a rate considered near full employment.

John A. Rizzo, a Stony Brook University economics professor and chief economist for the Long Island Association business group, noted that the number of employed residents in October is the highest for the month since 2008.

“This means that more people are looking for jobs — and finding them,” Rizzo said.

The latest report is based on a U.S. Census survey of local residents, regardless of whether they work here or off the Island.

A report released last week tallying the number of jobs on Long Island showed decelerating employment growth. The Island had 4,200 more jobs in October than a year earlier, the slowest growth so far this year.

The department uses year-over-year comparisons because local data aren’t adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations.

On Long Island, the City of Glen Cove had the lowest jobless rate — 3.5 percent. And the Village of Freeport’s 4.8 percent rate was the highest.

Long Island’s 4.1 percent overall jobless rate compares with state’s 4.6 percent and the nation’s 3.9 percent, in the same seasonally unadjusted period.

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