Last June, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an economic crisis and skyrocketing unemployment, with New York City reporting nearly one in five people out of work. 

A year later, new data from the state Department of Labor shows the unemployment rates in many metro areas of the state have been reduced, some by more than half. But New York City continues to lag. 

The unemployment rate statewide last month dropped to 7.7% statewide, a slight decline from 7.8% in June. But within the state, the jobless picture continues to vary. 

In the Buffalo area, for instance, the unemployment rate last June reached 13.7% and has since fallen to 5.7%. In Ithaca, which typically has one of the lowest rates of unemployment, joblessness declined from 9.2% a year ago to 4.3% last month. 

Similar declines have played out over the last 12 months in other areas, including the Capital Region, Binghamton and Rochester areas. 

But New York City's unemployment rate remains in a double digit percentage point. In June 2020, the city reached 18.7% unemployment. Last month, it stood at 10.1%. 

New York state overall is estimated to have lost 2 million jobs during the economic shutdown due to the pandemic, with the leisure and hospitality industries hit worst of all. At the same time, employers across many industries have reported difficulty in filling open positions as pandemic-related restrictions are removed.