Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate drops to 4.5 percent in May

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point from April to 4.5 percent — the lowest rate since September 2007 — setting a Commonwealth jobs record for the 14th consecutive month.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its employment situation report for May 2018, marking the the second monthly decrease in the rate after 10 consecutive months at 4.8 percent.

The commonwealth’s rate remained above the U.S. rate, which fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent. Over the year, the Pennsylvania unemployment rate declined by four-tenths of a percentage point.

The estimated number of Pennsylvania residents working or looking for work, known as the civilian labor force, was down 14,000 in May to 6,364,000. The labor force decline was due to a drop in unemployment, while resident employment was up slightly over the month. Employment and unemployment both declined since last May, by 8,000 and 21,000, respectively.

The estimated number of jobs in Pennsylvania, referred to as total non-farm jobs, was up 2,300 from April to a record high of 6,014,400. Highlights from this month’s jobs report include:

• Fourteenth consecutive month jobs established a record high level.

• Jobs were up in seven of the 11 industry super-sectors.

• Professional and business services set a record high for the ninth time in the past 10 months.

• Construction experienced the largest super-sector gain, up 1,900 in May.

• Education and health services had the largest decline, down 1,900 from April’s record high.

Since May 2017, total non-farm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 1.3 percent. During this time frame, nine super-sectors in the commonwealth added jobs with increases ranging from 31,700 in education & health services to 2,000 in other services.

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By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.