Pittsburgh area unemployment rate drops

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The last time the unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region was as low as it was in June was August 2008, before the Wall Street crisis.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Pittsburgh region fell by two-tenths of a percentage point in June to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent in May, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported Tuesday.

Instead of the rate falling because more people are working, the rate was down because 3,300 people were out of the labor force. Employment in the metropolitan statistical area was off by 1,300 in June and the number of people who were looking for work declined by 2,000.

The metropolitan statistical area is made up of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

While the seasonally adjusted number of jobs fell by 2,000 in June, the non-seasonally adjusted, or the raw count, of jobs was up by 5,400. While the number of jobs normally grows in June with seasonal hiring, it typically grows by more.

When compared to last year the number of jobs is up by 10,700.

The leisure and hospitality sector, which expands for the vacation season, grew by 6,300 jobs from May and by 9,900 jobs over the year. Retailers added 1,700 jobs in June and 1,100 jobs from last year.

Jobs in the public schools, which normally go down in June, fell by 2,000, but remained 300 above last year. Local government hiring was up by 800 in June, but down by 1,900 from June 2013.

Manufacturing added 200 jobs during the month but was down by 2,800 jobs over last year.

Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-421-4613 First Published July 29, 2014 11:28 AM

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