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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate rising despite labor force decrease

02.23.10

FEBRUARY 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate rising despite labor force decrease

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 2nd- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths 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. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 7.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is 8.9 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,310,000 with 560,000 not working and 5,751,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 10.0 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

The MSA’s unemployment rate increased despite the decrease of the civilian labor force. The labor force has fallen by 4,500 residents during the past twelve months to 278,800. At the same time the region has 251,700 civilians working, decreasing by 10,000 from twelve months before.There are 15,340,000 civilians in the nation without employment. That number does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. There are at least 20,000,000 civilians in the nation without jobs.

There are 27,100 residents in the MSA not working, increasing by 5,500 from twelve months before. That number also does not include civilians who unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,944,600 with 263,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,199,600 with 95,300 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 416,100 with 40,700 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 280,500 with 22,300 without employment.

Of the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the third highest unemployment rate. The Erie MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.0 percent, with the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA and the Williamsport MSA tied for the second highest at 9.8 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.0 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 7.1 percent with the Lancaster MSA the third lowest in the Commonwealth at 7.7 percent and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA fourth at 7.9 percent.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.2 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and jumping by one and eight-tenths percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 106,900, decreasing by 200 from the report before and falling by 2,000 during the past twelve months. There are 9,800 Lackawanna County residents without jobs, increasing by 300 from the previous report and increasing by 1,800 from one year ago. That number also does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.1 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the report before and increased by a whopping two and three-tenths percentage points from twelve months ago. The labor force in Luzerne County was unchanged from the previous report and decreased by 2,300 during the past year. Of the labor force 16,000 do not have a job, increasing by 600 during the past four weeks and rising by 3,400 from one year ago.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by two and one-tenth of a percentage point from one year ago. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,300, unchanged from the previous report and dropping by 200 from one year ago. There are 1,400 Wyoming County residents without jobs, the same as the previous report and increasing by 300 from twelve months before.

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