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Region’s unemployment rate increases to 9.0 percent

08.30.09

September 2009 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Region’s unemployment rate increases to 9.0 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, August 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 two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report to 9.0 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 5.5 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area is tied with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA for the fourth highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.3 percent, unchanged from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 537,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,436,000 and 5,899,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 9.5 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. There are 14,729,000 residents nationally unemployed with more than 13,600,000 receiving unemployment benefits, which does not include workers who benefits have expired. The national unemployment rate is 16.5 percent when workers who have recently lost their jobs but were unable to find full-time employment are counted in.

The data shows 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 the state 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, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.9 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The Harrisburg/Carlisie MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 7.3 percent, also increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 424,900, rising by 4,900 during the past twelve months.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,000,200 with 257,100 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 1,223,700, with 92,500 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 286,400, with 21,000 residents unemployed. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force in the state at 284,200 with 25,500 residents not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 60,000. The Altoona MSA is the second smallest at 64,600 followed by the Johnstown MSA at 69,100.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.7 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the report before and rising by two full percentage points from twelve months ago. Carbon County has 3,400 civilians not working, increasing by 100 from the previous report and increasing by 1,300 from twelve months ago.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.6 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by three and two-tenths percentage points during the past twelve months. Northampton County has 13,300 residents not working, increasing by 300 from the previous report and rising by whopping 5,100 during the past twelve months.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 9.8 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by three and five-tenths of a percentage points from twelve months ago. Lehigh County has 16,200 residents not working which is 300 more than four weeks ago and a whopping 6,400 more than one year ago.

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