PA jobless rate dips below 4.8% percent in December

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Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell 4.8 percent in December, the lowest rate since Feb. 2008.

The December rate fell below that of the United States, which was unchanged from November at 5.0 percent. The commonwealth’s rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point from the December 2014 rate of 5.0 percent while the national rate declined by six-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force was up 18,000 in December to 6,446,000. Resident employment rose by 31,000 while the unemployment count declined by 15,000.

Total nonfarm jobs were up 9,800 in December to a record high of 5,863,500. Four supersectors added at least 2,000 jobs each. The largest gain was in leisure & hospitality (+3,700), which reached a record high. The largest drop was in construction (-2,500).

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 38,000 (+0.7%). All seven of the private service-providing supersectors added jobs from December 2014, while all three goods-producing supersectors and government declined. The largest increase from last year was in education & health services (+14,300), while the largest decline was in manufacturing (-3,600).