At 8.1 percent in October, Pa. jobless rate down ... but not out

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Unemployment in the state was down one-tenth of a percentage point in October, but at 8.1 percent was still higher than the national rate of 7.9 percent for the second straight month.

The State Department of Labor and Industry also reported late Friday afternoon that the number of jobs grew by 7,500 during the month with 4,000 jobs gained in education and health services; 3,700 jobs gained in trade, transportation and utilities; and 1,500 jobs gained in manufacturing.

Those gains more than offset losses in other sectors, such as construction, which cut 1,100 jobs; leisure and hospitality, which was down by 1,000 jobs; and government, which cut back 800 jobs. There were 1,300 fewer government jobs than in the same month last year and 10,400 fewer construction jobs.

There were 48,100 more jobs in October than there were in October 2011.

The monthly employment report is a combination of two surveys. The number of jobs is determined by a survey of employers, while the unemployment rate and the report on the number of people working is determined by a survey of households.

Last month the household survey showed that the number of people who said they were unemployed declined by 2,000 people to 528,000. That is still 25,000 more people than were unemployed in October of last year.

The number of people who said they were working also increased, by 34,000 over the month and 132,000 for the year.

In all, the labor force, which is the combination of those who are working and those who want to work but are unemployed, grew by 31,000 in October. It was the second largest single-month increase in state history, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

businessnews - employment

Ann Belser: abelser@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1699.


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