Suffolk County's unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in June, compared to 7.2 percent a year ago, according to statistics released by the New York State Department of Labor this week, highlighting a local economy that continues to struggle to create jobs.
The number of locals unemployed in the County topped 62,000 in June.
The jobless rate — which counts the number of locals receiving unemployment benefits — also jumped from 7.6 percent in May.
Neighboring Nassau County saw a similar jump in the jobless rate June to 7.2 percent compared to 6.8 percent in June 2011.
The news was just as bad for the entire state, which saw the unemployment rate hit 9.1 percent compared to 8.1 percent in June 2011. The nation's jobless rate actually fell to 8.4 percent, compared to 9.3 percent a year ago.
'Acting' Police Commissioner No Longer
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone tapped Acting Commissioner Edward Webber as the new Police Commissioner of Suffolk County - a job he's been doing since taking over for former Commissioner Richard Dormer in January.
Webber was selected by an independent committee of 75 Long Island professionals, chaired by Long Island Association Chief Executive Kevin Law.
Bellone said Webber has already implemented changes in how the department is using intelligence to expose crime patterns, placed greater focus on community policing, decentralized gang units back to precincts and has taken on the prescription drug trade, all while cutting police overtime pay by nearly $2 million compared to 2011.
The County also named 40-year police department veteran Risco Lewis-Mention as Webber's deputy.
IDA Wants to Give Biz a Boost
The County's Industrial Development Agency this week announced a new program it hopes will lift local businesses that might be struggling during the economic doldrums.
The plan, dubbed the Boost Program, will provide incentives in the form of reduced fees and tax savings, and will target businesses in the information technology, bio and life sciences, pharma, green technology and energy fields.
New York City firm Work Market is the program's first applicant, and it plans to propose opening a facility in Huntington and hiring 25 workers making more than $90,000 annually to be based there. The incentive package would just top $50,000.
The hope of the Boost Program is that by offering these types of smaller incentive packages a wide range of growth companies will be able to be helped.
Water District Scores Grant
The Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District picked up a $160,603 grant from the State this week to be used to help farmers install new measures to protect the ground and surface from agricultural run-off.