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Lehigh Valley unemployment rate decreases to 8.6 percent

01.24.13

FEBRUARY 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley unemployment rate decreases to 8.6 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, January 14th- 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 8.6 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report which was released approximately four week before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was also at 8.6 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA is tied with the Philadelphia MSA for the third highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.4 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 8.7 percent with the Williamsport MSA fourth at 8.1 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.7 percent. The Lebanon MSA and the Lancaster MSA are tied for the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.6 percent.

The Pittsburgh MSA and the Harrisburg MSA are tied for the third lowest at 7.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.8 percent, dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and unchanged from twelve months before.

There are 512,000 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 6,542,000 and 6,030,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 7.7 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. That number also does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. The nation unemployment was down one full percentage point from twelve months before.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 433,200 civilians, decreasing by 900 from the previous report and rising by 12,100 during the past twelve months.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 3,019,600 with 259,400 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,265,100 with 90,900 without jobs; and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in the commonwealth at 291,400 with 27,300 civilians without jobs. The Harrisburg MSA is the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 289,600 civilians and 20,800 of them are without jobs.

Northampton County and Lehigh County are tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.4 percent. Northampton County has 13,000 civilians unemployed, decreasing by 200 from the previous report and dropping by 400 from twelve months ago. The unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous report.

Lehigh County has 15,500 civilians without jobs, dropping by 800 from the previous report but increasing by 200 over the past twelve months.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.1 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before and dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago.