PA unemployment rate dips to 6.0% in March
Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point in March to 6.0 percent, the lowest rate since October 2008. The commonwealth’s rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point below the U.S. rate, which was unchanged from February at 6.7 percent. The state rate was down 1.7 percentage points from its March 2013 rate of 7.7 percent.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the number of people working or looking for work –increased by 12,000 in March to 6,442,000. Resident employment was up 19,000, the third consecutive gain exceeding 10,000. The number of unemployed residents, which trended downward for the eighth consecutive month, was down by 8,000 in March to 390,000.
Total nonfarm jobs were down by 8,400 in March to 5,758,900. The decline was concentrated in the private sector, as government jobs remained at their February level. The largest drop was in professional & business services (-5,000), which fell below the record high level set in February. Leisure & hospitality, financial activities (-2,200), and education & health services (-2,000) also each had declines of 2,000 or more jobs. Trade, transportation & utilities (+1,700) and other services (+1,200) showed significant growth in March. Manufacturing, up 1,300, added jobs following four consecutive monthly declines.
Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 17,200 (+0.3%). The growth was primarily within private service-providing industries. The largest gains were in leisure & hospitality (+14,300) and professional & business services (+5,700).
The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison.