Pa.’s January unemployment rate holds steady, higher than national rate

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has released its unemployment report for the month of January, showing the state’s rate is slightly higher than what’s happening nationally.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent for the month of January — unchanged from the month of December, the department reported.

Meanwhile, the national rate stands at 4.1 percent, also unchanged from December.

The state’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate for November was the lowest since September 2007 — and the new rate is not far off that mark.

The release says over the year, the unemployment rate dropped by four-tenths of a percentage point.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force fell by 4,000 in January, to a total of 6,414,000. This comes after four months without change. The release blames this on a drop of 5,000 in employment.

In terms of nonfarm jobs, the count has decreased by 6,300 to a total of 5,987,300. This is down from December’s record high, and it’s the first decline after nine months of gains.

Despite the losses in nonfarm jobs, their total is still up 1.1 percent through the year.

The largest employment decline was in education and health services, which dropped by 4,600 positions. The largest uptick was in leisure and hospitality, where an addition of 2,800 jobs means a record high.

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan