PA Unemployment Rate Ticked Up in May

728unemployment_ratePennsylvania’s unemployment rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point from April to 5.5 percent. Pennsylvania’s rate remained above that of the United States, which was down three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.7 percent. The commonwealth’s rate was up three-tenths of a percentage point since May 2015 while the national rate declined by eight-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force was up 15,000 in May to a record high of 6,541,000. Resident employment declined by 2,000 while the unemployment count increased by 17,000.

Total nonfarm jobs decreased 10,200 to 5,871,000. Seven of the eleven supersectors declined in May, with five down by at least 2,000 jobs. The largest drop was in information (–4,500), which was directly impacted by the strike at Verizon. The strongest gain was in education & health services (+3,400), which rose to its highest point on record.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 39,200 (+0.7%). Despite the overall increase, six of the eleven supersectors jobs were down from May 2015. The largest increase from last year was in education & health services (+26,100), while the largest decline was in mining & logging (–8,900).

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison.

About the Author

Preston Ehrler spent 17 years on Wall Street in New York City working for Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and Bear Stearns. He was also a principal at an options strategy based hedge fund. He is the founder and Editor of MilfordNow and PortJervisNow.

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