WOODBURY - The latest unemployment numbers show that Long Island is lagging behind the U.S. economy's slow but steady recovery.

The national jobless rate is on the way down, but here on Long Island, the number is still going up, especially in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.

According to the latest data, unemployment islandwide is at 7.1 percent, up 0.3 percent from last year. In Nassau, the current rate is at 7 percent, up half a point from last year, while in Suffolk, the rate sits slightly higher, at 7.3 percent from last year's 7.2 percent.

Dr. Pearl Kamer, chief economist with the Long Island Association, says the latest data doesn't tell the full story. She says areas like Lindenhurst and Long Beach, still suffering from Sandy damage, are seeing unemployment numbers in or near the double-digits for the first time in decades.