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Lehigh Valley unemployment rate rises to 8.7 percent

09.13.11

SEPTEMBER 2011, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley unemployment rate rises to 8.7 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, August 15th- 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 8.7 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. 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 9.3 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area is tied with the Philadelphia MSA for the second highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.2 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 8.6 percent with the Williamsport MSA fourth at 7.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.6 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 480,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,327,000 and 5,848,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 9.2 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

There are 14,087,000 residents nationally unemployed but counting workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits or have been unable to find full-time work there are more than 19.4 million Americans without jobs. After workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted as unemployed unless they continue to apply for work.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.4 percent and the Lansaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent. The Altoona MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 416,800 civilians. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,941,000 with 258,300 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,219,100 with 88,500 without jobs; the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 279,400 with 25,600 without employment. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA is tied with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA for the fourth largest civilian labor force and has 20,200 without employment.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.0 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by eight-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 30,900 with 3,100 residents without jobs, increasing by 100 from the previous report and dropping by 200 from twelve months ago.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 8.5 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 151,300. There are 12,800 Northampton County residents without jobs, rising by 400 from the previous report and dropping by 800 during the past twelve months.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 175,400. There are 15,200 Lehigh County residents without jobs, increasing by 700 from the previous report and dropping by 1,300 from one year ago.

Manufacturing jobs have increased by 500 from the previous report while mining, logging and construction jobs also rose by 500.

There are 341,000 nonfarm jobs within the MSA, increasing by 1,700 from the previous report and rising by 2,800 from twelve months ago.

There are 335,900 nonfarm jobs in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA, decreasing by 1,100 from the previous report and rising by 1,800 from twelve months ago. The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA is ranked third in nonfarm jobs in the Commonwealth.

Over the past twelve months government jobs was the biggest loser, dropping by 2,600 to 42,200. Local government jobs decreased by 1,400 to 37,100, federal jobs dropped by 900 to 2,300 and state government jobs decreased by 300 during the past twelve months to 2,800.

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