APRIL 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News
MSA’s unemployment rate unchanged from previous report
BY PAUL LEESON
REGION, March 20th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is tied with the Williamsport MSA and the Erie MSA for the fourth highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania at 5.4 percent.
The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 6.4 percent.
There are eight-teen MSA’s in Pennsylvania, increasing by four since the previous report. The Department of Labor and Industry added the Bloomsburg/Berwick MSA; the Chamberburg/Waynesboro MSA; the East Stroudsburg MSA; and the Gettysburg MSA since their previous reporting period.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the third highest unemployment in the state at 6.0 percent, the first time in nearly five years the region has not had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania. The newly created East Stroudsburg MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.5 percent while the Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. The Philadelphia MSA has the fifth highest unemployment within Pennsylvania at 5.7 percent.
The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.9 percent. The State College MSA traditionally has the lowest unemployment within the state, however, the MSA also has one of the smallest workforces with 76,600 civilians.
The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, while the Lebanon MSA and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA are tied with the third lowest at 4.5 percent followed by the newly created Bloomsburg/Berwick MSA at 4.7 percent.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was reported to be at 5.1 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, while decreasing by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.
There are 322,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,365,000 and 6,043,000 of them have employment.
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 5.7 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before, partly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits. After workers exhaust their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted within the civilian labor-force.
There are 8,979,000 civilians nationwide without employment, but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.
The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 424,400 civilians, rising by 100 from the previous report and decreasing by 1,400 during the past twelve months. There are 22,900 civilians without employment within the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA, increasing by 100 from the month before and decreasing by 4,400 from one year ago.
The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,032,300 with 171,500 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,206,100 with 62,500 without jobs. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 291,300 and 13,000 are jobless while the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA is fifth at 281,000 civilians and 16,900 are unemployment.
Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,500, the smallest within the MSA, with 1,800 without employment, decreasing by 500 from twelve months ago.
Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.3 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one and two-tenths of a percentage point from the twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 154,500 with 8,200 jobless.
Lehigh County’s unemployment rate is 5.4 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one eight-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 180,900, the most within the MSA, with 9,800 without jobs, the highest within the MSA.