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Byline: KEVIN HARLIN
Dec. 10--The numbers tell the story.
At the end of September, 550 workers from Garden Way Inc. were out of work as the venerable lawn tractor and garden equipment maker closed its Troy plant.
State employment data for the next month showed the region with about that many fewer manufacturing jobs.
But the October data, the latest available, showed something else: a 2.9 percent unemployment rate -- the lowest of any metro area in New York state, and a record low for that month.
Therein lies the paradox. At a time when the nation is officially in recession, and when the Capital Region has shed 2,000 jobs in recent months by an extremely conservative count, the region is still largely absorbing those losses. And analysts are cautiously optimistic that the sponge that is the region's job market has room for more.
"The bad news is we're officially in a recession. The good news is we're six months into it and we still have unemployment of 2.9 percent in the Albany area," said James Ross, a labor analyst with the state.
And analysts from …