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Lehigh Valley unemployment rate rises to 8.5 percent

08.28.12

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

Lehigh Valley unemployment rate rises to 8.5 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, August 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 8.5 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four week before. 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 8.8 percent.

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

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.3 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 8.9 percent with the Philadelphia MSA third at 8.7 percent.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.4 percent. The State College MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent and the Pittsburgh MSA has the third lowest at 7.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.5 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report but dropping by five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 488,000 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 6,469,000 and 5,981,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 8.2 percent, unchanged from the previous report. That number also does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. The nation unemployment was down nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 430,900 civilians, increasing by 4,200 from the previous report and rising by 9,400 during the past twelve months.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 3,000,800 with 259,700 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,252,100 with 89,200 without jobs; the Harrisburg MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force in the commonwealth at 287,100 with 20,800 civilians without jobs. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA is the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 287,800 civilians and 26,900 of them are without jobs.

There are 12,749,000 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 16.4 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.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.7 percent, increasing by seven-tenths of percentage point from the previous report.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.5 percent, rising by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

Northampton County unemployment rate is 8.8 percent, increasing by eight-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

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