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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA unemployment rate remains the highest in state

02.14.11

FEBRUARY 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, February 2nd- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, decreasing by three-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 9.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.5 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,358,000 with 538,000 not working and 5,819,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 9.4 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage 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 14,485,000 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 20,000,000 civilians in the nation without jobs.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fourth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 282,400 civilians. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,953,000 with 259,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,218,400 with 96,500 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 417,000 with 37,700 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force at 282,200 with 23,500 without employment.

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 9.2 percent. The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA and the Reading MSA are tied for the third highest at 9.0 percent and the Erie MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 8.9 percent.

There are 26,700 residents reported to be not working in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, rising by 400 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 5.8 percent. The Lebanon MSA and the Lancaster MSA are tied for the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 7.2 percent. The Altoona MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 7.3 percent with the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA having the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 7.6 percent.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.1 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and unchanged from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,500, increasing by 100 civilians from the previous report and dropping by 300 from twelve months ago. There are 9,800 Lackawanna County residents without jobs, decreasing by 400 from the previous report and unchanged from twelve months ago.

Wyoming County and Luzerne County have a unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.

Wyoming County’s unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and rose by three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Wyoming County has a civilian labor force of 14,500, unchanged from one year ago. There are 1,400 civilians unemployed, unchanged from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County’s unemployment rate decreased by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropped by three-tenths of a percentage point during the past twelve months.

Luzerne County has a labor force of 160,400, unchanged from the previous report and decreasing by 900 during the past twelve months. Of the labor force, 15,500 civilians do not have a job, decreasing by 700 from the previous report and dropping by 700 during the past twelve months.

The main reason the unemployment rate decreased in MSA was because the labor force dropped, not because of job creation.

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