New York City continues to take the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic's economic pain as joblessness remains stubbornly high compared to the rest of the state. 

Regional unemployment rate numbers released on Tuesday once again showed a tale of two states, only in the reverse of what's usually the case of wealthy New York City and economically troubled upstate. 

New York City's unemployment rate in October stood at 13.1%, a sign employment sectors like entertainment, hospitality, and tourism continue to have taken hits due to the pandemic. 

Upstate, unemployment in October is still far higher than what it was a year ago this time. The only region of the state that had its rate below 5% was Ithaca, home to several colleges, which stood at 4.6% last month. 

Buffalo and Niagara's unemployment rate was 6.9%, ticking upward slightly from September. The Rochester and Syracuse areas were both at 6.4%, labor statistics showed.

Regions where many people hold public sector jobs are faring slightly better: The Capital Region's unemployment stood at 5.7%, Watertown-Fort Drum was at 5.8%. 

Surging COVID cases in the U.S. and in New York is leading to fresh concerns of more school and non-essential business closures in the coming weeks, which could send jobless rates upward once again.