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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Region’s unemployment rate continues to increase

08.15.09

August 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Region’s unemployment rate continues to increase

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 30th- According to labor data provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.0 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks before.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties.
The unemployment rate is three and one-tenth of a percentage points higher than a year ago. The last time the region had a unemployment rate this high was in March 1994.

The MSA’s unemployment rate continues to remain higher than the state percentgage. The unemployment rate in the state is 8.3 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,436,000 with 537,000 not working and 5,899,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national rate has increased by one full percentage point during the past three reports. There are 14,729,000 civilians in the nation without employment. The number does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA civilian labor force decreased by 600 from the previous report to 284,200. There are 25,500 civilians not working in the MSA, increasing by 200 from the previous report, and increasing by a whopping 8,800 from one year ago. The number would be even higher if the residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits were part of the percentage.

The MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 3,000,200 with 257,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,223,700 with 92,500 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 424,900 with 38,300 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 286,400 with 21,000 without employment.

Of the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA is tied with the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA for the fourth highest unemployment rate. The Erie MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 9.6 percent. The Reading MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.2 percent with the Williamsport MSA third at 9.1 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.8 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.9 percent with the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA and the Lancaster MSA tied for the third lowest at 7.3 percent. The Pittsburgh MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in at 7.6 percent.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.4 percent, which increased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and jumping two and eigth-tenths of a percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,800, decreasing by 300 from the last report. There are 9,100 Lackawanna County residents without jobs, increasing by 100 from the previous report and increasing by a whopping 3,100 from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.3 percent, which is unchanged from the report before. The unemployment rate is 3 and one-tenth of a percentage point higher from one year ago. Luzerne County has a labor force of 161,700, the largest in the MSA. The labor force decreased by 500 from the previous report and increased by 1,600 from twelve months ago. Of the labor force 15,000 do not have a job, unchanged from the previous report and increasing by a whopping 5,300 from one year ago.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the report before and increasing by 3 and two-tenths of a percentage points from one year ago. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,600, unchanged from the previous report and increasing by 200 from twelve months ago. There are 1,300 Wyoming County residents without jobs, which is unchanged from the previous report and jumping by 400 from twelve months

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