HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by four-tenths of a percentage point in December to 6.9 percent. This was the first time in nearly five years (January of 2009) that the rate was below 7 percent, and it was the largest one-month decline since July of 1983. The unemployment rate was down by one percentage point from December 2012.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work –was down 15,000 in December to 6,443,000. Resident employment was up 12,000 to 6,000,000, and the number of unemployed residents fell 27,000 to 443,000.Pennsylvania’s labor force was down by 92,000 over the year with declines in both employment (-16,000) and unemployment (-76,000).
Total nonfarm jobs fell by 11,400 in December to 5,761,600. Eight of the eleven supersectors declined, causing drops in both goods-producing (-7,500) and service-providing (-3,900) industries. The largest declines were in education and health services (-9,600) and construction (-7,000). Trade, transportation and utilities, up 8,100 from November, had the largest gain of any supersector for the second month in a row.
Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 19,000 (+0.3 percent). The growth was primarily within private service-providing industries. The largest gains were in leisure and hospitality (+13,200), professional and business services (+11,900), and trade, transportation and utilities (+8,000).
The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison.