State, County Sees Slight Improvement In Unemployment Figure


Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is showing very slight improvement, according to the Department of Labor and Industry.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at the end of May declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.6 percent – the lowest rate since September 2008.

Compared to the rest of the state however, Chester County is looking good.

The most recent unemployment figure for Chester County was 4.8 percent in March – the lowest unemployment rate in the entire Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pennsylvania’s rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate of 6.3 percent, which was unchanged from April. The state rate was down 1.9 percentage points from its May 2013 rate of 7.5 percent.  Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work – was down 12,000 in May to 6,431,000.

Resident employment, down 6,000, declined for the first time after eight consecutive gains while unemployment (-5,000) declined for the tenth straight month.

Total non-farm jobs increased by 24,700 in May to reach 5,794,900, the highest level since September 2008. The majority of the gain was within the private sector, which added 21,700 jobs to reach a record high of 5,078,000 while public sector jobs were up by 3,000. The largest gain was in leisure and hospitality, which reached a record high of 550,000 jobs. Education and health services and professional and business services also both reached record high levels in May.

Over the year, total non-farm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 62,400 (+1.1 percent). The growth was primarily within private industries, with the largest gains in leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.


Top image: Landscapers tend to the Desmond Hotel’s flower beds along Route 29.

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