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Last updated: July 31. 2013 12:10AM - 2943 Views
By ANDREW M. SEDER



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For the fifth consecutive month the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Area has fallen.


According to data released Tuesday by the state department of Labor and Industry, regional unemployment fell in June to 9.2 percent, the lowest it’s been since April 2012.


Even with the fall of the unemployment rate, June marked the 39th consecutive month that this region, which includes the counties of Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming, had the highest rate in the state. Along with Johnstown, which had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro was the only one in the state with a rate above 8.1 percent.


While the local rate dipped from May to June, the state and national rates were unchanged. Pennsylvania’s rate remained at 7.5 percent while the U.S. rate was 7.6 percent. Over the past year, the metropolitan statistical area’s rate decreased three-tenths of a point, Pennsylvania’s rate dropped by half a percentage point, and the U.S. rate fell six-tenths of a point.


A closer look at the monthly data report shows this region’s seasonally adjusted employment increased by 500 from May to 259,500, while the labor force rose by 200 to 285,700. Seasonally adjusted unemployment decreased by 200 to 26,200.


When broken down into sectors and supersectors, the region showed:


• Seasonal gains occurred in mining, logging and construction and leisure and hospitality. Both supersectors were up over the month while leisure and hospitality saw a significant increase since June 2012, up 1,000, setting a new record high level of 24,900 jobs.


• Durable goods manufacturing had the largest over-the-year decline for a single sector, down 600 jobs.


• The largest declines since May were in educational services and government, though these are expected as classrooms emptied for the summer in the region’s schools, colleges and universities.


• Trade, transportation, and utilities, and professional and business services both declined over the month, however, they each saw significant increases over the year, up 900 and 1,100 jobs respectively.


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