New York added 3,700 jobs in the private sector last month, but the unemployment rate ticked upward in October, the state Department of Labor on Thursday announced. 

The state unemployment rate grew from 4.3% in September to 4.4%. The national unemployment rate in October stood lower than New York at 3.7%. 

Labor force participation has increased, however, by 15,000 people, growing from 60.3% in September to 60.5% last month, labor officials said. That matches the highest rate since March 2020, right before the jobless rate spiked amid a closure of businesses due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New York state has struggled to bring down its unemployment rate since 2020 and a full recovery is not expected for another several years. Hard-hit areas of the economy include tourism and hospitality sectors in New York. 

New York City, the engine of the state and national economies, has in particular had persistently higher unemployment. The city's unemployment rate last month incease from 5.6% to 5.9% after several months of declines. The unemployment rate outside of New York City was flat at 3.3%.