Throughout the year, the state’s labor force has been steadily growing, a sign workers who had given up on finding a job have begun to look again.

The economy added 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 per cent.

But according to the Labor Department, just last week fewer people sought unemployment benefits and the number of applications for weekly unemployment fell to 281,000 meaning fewer people are being laid off.

The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. A year ago, the average was 309,000. The bad news is that last week’s report of 297,000 was revised lower by only 1,000.

There was an increase of 5,500 non-farm jobs from May to June, with the largest increases occurring in professional/business services, health care/social assistance and durable goods manufacturing.

The posted improvement was better than the figures reported in the previous two weeks amid expectations of job market volatility during the summer period.

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, down one-tenth of a percent from May. The unemployment rate is calculated by the federal government. That being said, Fed Chair Yellen did speak this week, and the markets are looking for each and every little clue that they can regarding the coming interest rate hike cycle.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 112,000 to 2.22 million in the week ended July 4.

The strong employment growth in June was tempered by revisions to May’s jobs figures, from an initially estimated gain of 7,400 down to 5,200.