Pennsylvania's unemployment rate falls to 6 percent, lowest since 2008

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Pennsylvania's unemployment rate fell in March to 6 percent from February's rate of 6.2 percent, putting the state well below the national rate of 6.7 percent.

The unemployment rate was the lowest it has been since October 2008 when rates were rising early in the Great Recession.

While the unemployment rate is based on a survey of households, the news that came out of a survey of employers was not as good.

Employers reported that they had cut 8,400 jobs in March. All of the numbers in the state survey are seasonally adjusted to remove highs and lows from regular hiring and layoffs related to seasonal events such as the holiday shopping season and summer vacations.The seasonal adjustment allows for an easy comparison of months.

The 8,400 jobs cut in March nearly matched the 8,700 jobs added in February for a net gain of 300 jobs in the two months.

The unemployment rate was the highlight of the report because it came down for all good reasons: 19,000 more people are working; the number of people who are unemployed fell by 8,000 and the labor force, which is the combination of people who are working and unemployed and thus in the labor market, grew by 12,000.


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

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