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Lehigh Valley unemployment rate decreases three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.4 percent

03.04.12

MARCH 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley unemployment rate decreases three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.4 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, February 7th- 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 8.4 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.2 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 8.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.1 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.0 percent and the Lansaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent. The Altoona MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.6 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 485,000 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 6,351,000 and 5,865,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 8.5 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 416,400 civilians, decreasing by 3,000 during the past twelve months. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,948,000 with 248,000 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,231,100 with 85,200 without jobs; the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in the commonwealth at 279,200 with 24,800 civilians without jobs. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fifth largest labor force at 279,000 with 19,300 unemployed civilians.

There are 13,097,000 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 17.5 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.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.4 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,100 with 3,200 residents without jobs.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 8.1 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 151,000. Northampton County has 12,200 residents without jobs.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 8.4 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lehigh County civilian labor force is 175,200, with 14,700 of them without employment.

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