The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level in nearly four years, according to figures released Friday.
In New York City, the most recent unemployment statistics are from August, when levels were at 9.7 percent, compared to 10.2 percent in July and 10.2 percent in June, according to the New York State Department of Labor Statistics, which are not seasonally adjusted.
Although Prospect Heights is still full of people looking for work, area residents say more people they know are actually finding it.
"There is a lot of mobility now, which wasn't happening," said Genevieve Wachtell, who used to work in corporate law but now teaches at New York Law School.
While lawyers used to be enticed to switch firms all the time with large signing bonuses, in 2008, "everything froze," she said. A few months ago, people started moving around again.
Cynthia A. Martin, a nanny in Prospect Heights, said she's seen several colleagues get jobs from families where an unemployed parent recently found work. And college students she knows who graduated last spring had a much easier time finding work than in previous years.
"Kids are coming out of school and they're getting jobs. It's probably not as quick as they wanted, but it's definitely a change," she said.
Area residents say the've also seen movement in other employment sectors.
Claudia Dishon, regional manager at Blue Marble Ice Cream, said in the past four months, she's had about four or five employees leave—a first since the recession began.
"When it all started happening, you felt like you couldn't leave your job," she said. "The fact that now people feel comfortable enough to leave says something."
However, advocates for the unemployed say the pain for many Brooklyn jobseekers shows no signs of abating.
"The national numbers are encouraging," said Georgianna Glose of Fort Greene Strategic Neighborhood Action Partnership, an organization providing job training, placement and other assistance for unemployed residents. But, she said, unemployment still remained in the 20 to 30 percent range in many pockets of Central Brooklyn.
"Poor communities always suffer the most in a recession," she said. "They suffer first and they suffer the longest."
Paul Leonard contributed reporting.