How Much Is Unemployment in New York?

If you are unemployed in New York, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. These are payments based on your wages earned in your base period, which can last up to a year. The Department of Labor calculates these wages and assigns a weekly benefit rate.

Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary cash benefits to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) administers the UI program. New York UI benefits are calculated using wages earned in a four-quarter base period. Generally, your benefit rate is based on the amount of your highest-earnings quarter. A lot of complicated math sits behind your unemployment checks, but you don’t have to understand it all. Whether you apply online or in person, the New York State Department of Labor will determine your weekly benefit amount based on a “base period.” This represents the work and earnings you made during one year, and it’s used to assess your eligibility for jobless benefits.

The base period includes the first four of the last five calendar quarters before you filed your claim. In some cases, you may be able to request that NYDOL use an alternate base period instead. If you can do so, it will increase the number of weeks you can draw unemployment benefits. To qualify for New York unemployment, you must have a valid social security number and must meet minimum wage requirements. You must also be available and willing to work and certify each week that you are looking for a job. You must certify to ensure your benefits continue. To avoid this, keep track of your quarterly wages and update your resume often.

Unemployment Rates in New York 2024

LocationRateChangeLong-Term Average
New York City5.40%+0.20%7.74%
New York State4.20%+0.20%6.28%
Upstate New York (Balance of State)3.20%+0.20%5.06%
How to Qualify for New York Unemployment
How Much Is Unemployment in New York? 1

How to Qualify?

To qualify for unemployment, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own and be willing and available to work. You must also actively look for a job and certify that you do so each week. You can file your claim online or over the phone. In both cases, you will be given a PIN that will be used to access your account and certify each week.

In most states, the Department of Labor looks at a worker’s earnings over one year to determine eligibility for unemployment benefits. This period is known as the base period. The state then calculates the claimant’s weekly benefit rate based on their high-quarter wages. However, if the claimant made more money in other quarters, they can ask the department to use an alternate base period.

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