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Riverhead Town’s unemployment has dropped to the lowest since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

The town’s unemployment rate dipped from 7.6% in March to 5.3% in April, according to data released on May 25 by the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs. The unemployment rate climbed to 15.8% last April after the governor ordered a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The town’s unemployment rate was 3.1% in April 2019.

Riverhead’s lowest unemployment rate during the pandemic had been 5.4% in November. Unemployment quickly shot up thereafter, reaching 8.3% in February, before trending downward to 5.3% in April.

Also in April, Suffolk County’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.1% to 5.4%. New York state’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 7.8%, while the national unemployment rate remained stagnant at around 6%.

You can view Riverhead and Suffolk County’s unemployment rates since 2019 with the graph below.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: