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Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA unemployment rate decreases slightly to 9.7 percent

08.31.10

SEPTEMBER 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate decreases slightly to 9.7 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, August 4th- 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 9.7 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. 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 8.8 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area is tied with the Erie MSA and the Williamsport MSA for the second highest unemployment rate. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA, and the Johnstown MSA, are tied for the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 9.2 percent, unchanged from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 591,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but the number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,437,000 and 5,847,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 9.5 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. However, the reason the unemployment rate decreased was because of the workers that have exhausted their benefits and have stopped looking for work. Unemployed workers in Pennsylvania can receive up to 99 weeks of benefits. Should they be employed longer than 99 weeks, they will no longer be counted in the labor data.

There are 14,623,000 residents nationally unemployed but counting workers that have exhausted their benefits or have been unable to find full-time work there are more than 20 million Americans without jobs.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.5 percent with the Lebanon MSA the second lowest at 7.6 percent.

Northampton County has the lowest rate in the MSA at 9.5 percent and Carbon County has the highest at 11.3 percent. Lehigh County’s unemployment rate is 9.8 percent.

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