PA Jobs Reports

February Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate at 5.2%

Posted: March 20, 2015 on PoliticsPA.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its monthly jobs report, showing a slight increase in unemployment rate by one-tenth of a percentage point during February 2015. The first two months of 2015 have seen miniscule increase (+0.2%) in unemployment following four consecutive months of decline.

Good News

The Keystone State’s unemployment rate increased from 5.1 percent to 5.2 percent but still remained three-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 5.5 percent, which fell from 5.7 percent in January.

Compared to February 2014, the state’s rate fell by a full 1.0 percent while the national rate dropped 1.2 percent.

The state civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – increased by 7,000 in February to 6,365,000. Residential employment was also up by 2,000.

Total nonfarm jobs reached a record high of 5,829,200 in February with an increase of 13,300. The gain was concentrated in the private sector, which added 15,700 jobs while government declined by 2,400.

Since February 2014, total nonfarm jobs were up 73,100 (+1.3%). The largest gains were in trade, transportation & utilities, education & health services and professional & business services.

The largest monthly increase was in education & health services, up 6,000 jobs.

Mediocre News

Financial activities saw a decrease of 0.1 percent from January and only a 0.3 percent increase over the past year.

The information super sector has experience a 0.4 percent hike from January but sits a full 2.0 percent behind the number a year ago.

Bad News

Only two of the eleven super sectors declined from a year ago – information and government. Construction showed the biggest decline, down 2,500. Mining and logging also saw a decrease from January by 1.0 percent.

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison.

January Jobs Reports: Unemployment Sits at 5.1%

Posted: March 6, 2015 on PoliticsPA.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its monthly jobs report today, showing an increase in the unemployment rate by one-tenth of a percentage point during January 2015. This slight hike comes after four consecutive months of decline in the rate.

Good News

Although the state unemployment rate grew from 5.0 percent to 5.1 percent, Pennsylvania’s rate was six-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 5.7 percent, which also rose a tenth of a point from December.

The commonwealth fared well in the one-year comparison, dropping by 1.2 percentage points since January 2014. This also came out ahead of the national average which only declined by 0.9 points in the past year.

Over the year, the state’s total nonfarm jobs went up 1.1 percent to 62,400. This growth was almost entirely seen within private industries. The largest gains were in trade, transportation & utilities, education & health services and professional & business services.

Only two of the eleven supersectors defined in this report have declined from a year ago – information and government.

Since December, financial activities posted largest increase with an gain of 2,500.

Mediocre News

The state added about 13,000 to its civilian labor force in January to 6,365,000. Since January 2014, Pennsylvania has actually seen a 0.4 percent decline in its civilian labor force while the national average is up 1.1 percent.

Both total farm jobs and service providing industries saw a 0.1 percent decrease since December while goods producing industries increased but only by 0.3 percent. Goods producing industries was also the higher earner out of the three in the past year rising 1.6 percent.

Bad News

The four-month streak of declining unemployment rates is over.
Total nonfarm jobs dropped by 3,500 in January to 5,822,000. The January dip followed six straight months of gains in this category.

Education & health services showed the biggest decline in January sliding down 7,300 from a record high level in December.

December Jobs Reports: Unemployment Down to 4.8%

Posted: January 23, 2015 on PoliticsPA.com

The Department of Labor & Industry released its monthly jobs report today, showing a decrease in unemployment for the fourth straight month and the ninth decline overall in 2014.

The Good News

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent in December, three-tenths of a percentage point lower than November. December’s unemployment rate in the state is the lowest since March 2008.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania continues to look much more positive than the national average, which currently stands at 5.6 percent.

Compared to 2013, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is down 2.1 percentage points vs. the national rate decline of 1.1 percentage points.

Construction showed the largest year-to-year growth, jumping 4 percent from last December, while mining and logging was up 3.8 percent.

Mediocre News

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – remained stagnant from the past month. Resident employment was up only 0.2% from November.
The number of non-farm jobs saw a slight increase of 0.1% from the prior month and a total 0.9% year-to-year increase.

Bad News

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force dropped by 0.9 percent since December 2013 while the national rate increased by 0.7 percent. Meanwhile, only two sectors experienced year-to-year losses; information (down 1.3%) and government (down 0.5%).

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