Local Unemployment Remains Low As County Adds Programs For Job Seekers


On March 21 Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry released its state employment situation report for February, showing a slight decline in Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percentage point, to 6.2 percent. This is one-half of a percentage point below the U.S. rate, which in February was up a tenth of a percentage point to 6.7 percent.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was at its lowest since November 2008, when the rate was also 6.2 percent. The state rate was down 1.5 percentage points from its February 2013 rate of 7.7 percent.

The CareerLink office in Coatesville is reporting even better news for Chester County – an unemployment figure of 4.9 percent. This is 1.3 percent below the state unemployment figure.

The CareerLink office is also reporting the Chester County Workforce Investment Board is funding new training opportunities for the unemployed. These include new workshops, a job locator service, basic computer training, Microsoft Office training, certified nurse assistant training and funding for individual training accounts.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – increased by 15,000 in February to 6,430,000. Resident employment was up 28,000 to 6,032,000, and the number of unemployed residents fell 15,000 to 397,000 – its lowest level since October 2008. Pennsylvania’s labor force was down by 59,000 over the year due primarily to a decline in unemployment of 103,000.

Total nonfarm jobs rose by 8,700 in February to 5,766,000. Private sector jobs were up by 7,500 and government jobs rose by 1,200. The largest gains were in trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and professional and business services. Each of those sectors added more than 3,000 jobs from January.

Leisure and hospitality and professional and business services both set new record high levels in February.

Over the year, total non-farm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 24,600 (0.4 percent). The growth was primarily within private service-providing industries. The largest gains were in leisure and hospitality (up 19,300), and professional and business services (up 12,300).

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