Pa. jobless rate dipped in November
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The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania fell in November to 7.8 percent, three-tenths of a percentage point decline from October's rate of 8.1 percent.
That marks the second month of declining unemployment, following a period when it rose from May's unemployment rate of 7.4 percent to September's 8.2 percent.
That spike marked the first time in six years the rate climbed above the national average.
The national unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which did not list Pennsylvania's rate as significantly different from the national rate.
The state with the highest unemployment rate that month was Nevada, where unemployment was 10.8 percent. North Dakota, which is experiencing a drilling boom, has 3.1 percent unemployment, the nation's lowest level.
Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry, in a release accompanying the latest numbers on Friday, said the number of unemployed in the Keystone state had dropped by 16,000 -- the largest decline since 1983.
The monthly report on employment in the state, which is seasonally adjusted, showed that rather than giving up and dropping out of the labor force, 22,000 more people were working: a combination of 16,000 fewer unemployed and an additional 6,000 who entered the labor market.
Employers reported adding 1,900 jobs total. The private sector added 7,200 jobs during November but those gains were offset by reductions in government employment of 5,300 jobs.
Larger employment gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 3,500 positions; education and health services was up 2,400 jobs; manufacturers gained 2,200 jobs; and transportation, trade and utilities, which includes retail, was up 2,000 jobs.
In addition to the loss of 5,300 government jobs, losses were seen in professional and business services (3,200 jobs), financial activities (1,200) and construction (800).
The construction industry saw the largest year-over-year decline, down 10,700 jobs from this point last year.
First Published December 22, 2012 12:00 am