PA Unemployment Rate Drops, Lags National Average

Member Group : Center Square

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate continued its months-long decline in November, shaving three-tenths of a percentage point since October to come in at 5.7%.

The movement is behind the national unemployment rate of 4.2%, which fell four-tenths of a percentage point over the past month.

The figures, released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, shows the number of residents working or looking for work decreased by 10,000 since October, while resident unemployment fell for the ninth consecutive month, down 18,000 in November.

“Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 13,500 over the month to 5,781,800 in November, the seventh consecutive gain,” according to the agency’s preliminary employment situation report for November. “Jobs rose from October levels in eight of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest increase in trade, transportation and utilities (+5,700).

In terms of total jobs gained since October, service providing industries added the most with 12,100, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 5,700 jobs, professional and business services with a gain of 5,100 and leisure and hospitality, which added 2,100 jobs.

Goods producing industries added 1,400 jobs since October, with 1,300 coming from manufacturing, and 200 coming from mining and logging. The construction industry lost about 100 jobs since October.

Other sectors that posted losses include education and health services, which was down 2,000 jobs, and “other services,” which fell by 100.

Pennsylvania added a total of 34,000 jobs or sixth-tenths of a percent over the past year, while the civilian labor force shrank by 52,000, or eight-tenths of a percent. Unemployment is down since last November by 19.5%, or 87,000.

That’s behind the national pace, which grew the civilian labor force by nine-tenths of a percent, and reduced unemployment by 35.9%. Employment grew nationally by 3.6% since last November.

The state’s labor force participation rate is now at the lowest level since 1987, despite payrolls growing by 13,500 in November, according to The Associated Press.

Overall, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by 1.4% since November 2020, while the national rate fell 2.5%.

According to the AP, “Pennsylvania has regained about 70% of the 1.1 million jobs lost in the pandemic.”