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Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate increases to 8.8 percent

07.30.09

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate increases to 8.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, July 6th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in Harrisburg Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report to 8.8 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 5.4 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area has the sixth highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.2 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 532,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,467,000 and 5,936,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 9.4 percent, increasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. There are 14,511,000 residents nationally unemployed with more than 13,400,000 receiving unemployment benefits, which does not include workers who benefits have expired. The national unemployment rate is 16.4 percent when workers who have recently lost their jobs but were unable to find full-time employment are counted in.

The study shows the Williamsport MSA and the Erie MSA are tied for the highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.3 percent. The Reading MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.1 percent, with the Johnstown MSA third at 9.0 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate at 8.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.9 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point form the previous report. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.8 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The Harrisburg/Carlisie MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 425,800, rising by 6,000 during the past twelve months.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,013,800 with 248,500 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 1,229,700, with 92,300 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 287,600, with 20,600 residents unemployed. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force in the state at 285,400 with 25,500 residents unemployed.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 60,400. The Altoona MSA is the second smallest at 64,900 followed by the Johnstown MSA at 69,600.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.5 percent, increasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from the report before and rising by four and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has 3,400 civilians not working, increasing by 300 from the previous report and increasing by 1,400 from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a labor force of 32,100, the smallest civilian labor force within the Metropolitan Statistical Area. The labor force rose by 600 residents the past twelve months.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.3 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by three full percentage points during the past twelve months. Northampton County has 12,900 residents not working, increasing by 600 from the previous report and rising by 4,800 during the past twelve months. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 154,500, increasing by 900 from the previous report and rising by 1,600 during the past twelve months.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by three full percentage points from twelve months ago. Lehigh County has 15,900 residents not working which is 1,000 more than four weeks ago andbut 5,200 more than one year ago. Lehigh County has the largest work force in the MSA at 179,800 residents, which rose 1,300 during the past twelve months.

Goods-producing jobs decreased by 5,200 during the past twelve months with manufacturing leading the decline dropping by 5,200 jobs. Construction jobs was the second highest decliner dropping by 1,300 jobs.

Service-producing jobs decreased by 5,300 during the past twleve months. Retail jobs were the biggest decliner within the sector dropping by 1,800 jobs during the past twelve months.

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