Unemployment in the region down, lowest since October 2008

June 9th, 2015 8:32 pm

First Posted: 8/26/2014

The unemployment rate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area edged down by one-tenth of 1 percent in July to 6.8 percent, the lowest since October 2008, according to figures released today by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

A year earlier, the rate was 9 percent.

Still, the region maintained a more than four-year record of having the highest rate of joblessness among Pennsylvania’s 14 large labor markets. Johnstown was the only other market above 6 percent; State College had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent. The statewide unemployment rate in July was 5.7 percent, and the national rate was 6.2 percent.

The labor force – the number of persons working or looking for work – continued to decline, standing at 274,500 in July, compared to 282,700 one year earlier, a 3 percent decrease. Most of that was accounted for in a drop of 6,900 counted as unemployed.

The number of nonfarm jobs within the region that includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties fell by 200 from June and 1,500 compared to July 2013. That was the greatest in Pennsylvania.