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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area unemployment rate remains the highest in state

01.18.11

JANUARY 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate remains the highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 1st- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, decreasing by four-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 9.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.6 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,362,000 with 547,000 not working and 5,815,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 9.8 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a precentage point from the previous report. However, the unemployment rate does not include civilians who unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

There are 15,119,000 civilians in the nation reported to be unemployed. That number does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. There are actually at least 21,000,000 civilians in the nation without jobs.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 281,600 civilians. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,952,400 with 267,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,217,600 with 97,800 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 417,800 with 39,200 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 281,700 with 23,500 without employment. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA just recently passed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA for the fourth largest civilian labor force.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment in the Commonwealth at 9.5 percent. The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton has the third highest at 9.4 percent with the Erie MSA and the Reading MSA tied with the fourth highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.2 percent.

There are 27,300 residents reported to be not working in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, rising by 500 from twelve months before. That number also does not include civilians who unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.9 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 7.2 percent, the Altoona MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 7.4 percent with the Lancaster MSA with the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 7.5 percent.

Wyoming County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.8 percent, decreasing by two full percentage points from the previous report and dropping by one and six-tenths of a percentage point during the past twelve months. Wyoming County has a civilian labor force of 14,100 with 1,100 unemployed.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.1 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County has a labor force of 160,300, decreasing by 500 from the previous report and decreasing by 800 during the past twelve months. Of the labor force, 16,200 civilians do not have a job, decreasing by 300 from the previous report and rising by 400 during the past twelve months.

The unemployment rate in Lackawanna County is 9.4 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by four-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago.

Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,300, decreasing by 500 civilians from the previous report and dropping by 700 from twelve months ago. There are 10,100 Lackawanna County residents without jobs, decreasing by 400 from the previous report and increasing by 400 from twelve months ago.

The retail trade sector jobs increased by 1,200 from the previous report mainly because of several Wal-Mart openings.

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