timesleader.com

Local unemployment rate falls in October

November 28, 2012

For the first time since May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area showed a month-to-month decrease in October.

The rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.5 percent. It was still the highest of the state's 14 metro regions. State College was the lowest at 5.9 percent.

In September, the rate climbed for the fourth consecutive month and at 9.6 percent, it matched the highest it's been since June 2010.

Pennsylvania‚??s rate decreased one-tenth of a point over the month to 8.1 percent, while the United States‚?? rate increased one-tenth to 7.9 percent.

The local metro region gained 5,700 jobs over the year, an increase of 2.2 percent, thanks to gains in goods-producing industries. That sector saw jobs up both over the month and over the year, having gained 800 and 1,600 jobs respectively. Mining, logging and construction businesses, as well as manufacturing also posted gains over both periods.

There were other notes of good news sprinkled into the report released this morning by the state's Department of Labor and Industry's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis.

Retail trade posted employment growth both over the month and over the year. This was the first month since August 2011 that both measures were up together in the same month, the report noted.

While the rate has dropped month-to-month it is still higher than a year ago when the local unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.

At a county level, the rate dropped from September to October in both Lackawanna and Luzerne counties but climbed slightly in Wyoming County. Those three counties make up the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In Luzerne the rate dropped from 9.8 to 9.5 percent. In Lackawanna, the rate fell to 8.7 percent from 9.1 percent. In Wyoming, the rate rose from 10 percent to 10.1 percent.

Read the complete story in Thursday's Times Leader.