The unemployment rate for the Town of Smithtown slipped slightly in October to 6.2 percent compared to 6.3 percent in October 2009, the state's Department of Labor announced Thursday.
Smithtown's jobless rate was the lowest on Long Island, shared with the Town of Huntington, which also posted 6.2 percent unemployment.
"I think what it means is we are basically growing jobs fast enough to keep our head above water, we're not really growing them fast enough to start lowering the unemployment rate the way we'd like to," said New York State Labor Market Analyst for the Long Island Region Gary Huth.
Suffolk County also saw 7 percent unemployment in October, while Long Island came in at 6.9 percent.
"There are 10,900 more jobs on Long Island than there were in October 2009," Huth said. "We are growing at a rate of 1.1 percent a year. It's not gangbusters, certainly, but it's significantly better than it was earlier. But, the unemployment rate held steady."
The labor force in the Town of Smithtown has increased from 1,480,900 to 1,486,600 from September 2010 to October 2010, and increased by over 3,000 from October 2009, when the work force was 1,477,400.
Huth explained that unemployment is based on where the person resides, but the jobs report is based on where the business is.
"The overall report is pretty positive," Huth said. "The numbers track fairly closely to the national data. We're doing better than the national economy. It's slow but improving. There does appear to be some degree of certainty of the viability of recovery. But the speed of the recovery is a little slower that we'd like to see."