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Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.8 percent

03.28.14

APRIL 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, March 20th- 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 6.8 percent, decreasing by four-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 at 8.7 percent.

There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 8.1 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for nearly four consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA and the Williamsport MSA are tied for third at 6.9 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment rate dropped was because of the decline of the workforce when long-term out-of-work civilians lost their unemployment benefits after Washington failed to extend the benefit. Therefore, the civilian labor-force has dropped because long-termed unemployed workers are no longer counted.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.0 percent. The State College MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.1 percent, and the Lancaster MSA is third at 5.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 6.4 percent, dropping by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and four-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 411,000 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 6,416,000 and 6,005,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 6.6 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, also mainly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits because Washington did not pass legislation that would have extended benefits for the long-termed jobless. The national unemployment rate was down one and three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 10,236,000 civilians nationwide without employment but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 429,000 civilians, decreasing by 9,000 during the past twelve months. There are 29,100 recorded civilians without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force at 2,968,400 with 204,700 not working; and the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,243,900 with 74,100 without jobs.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.1 percent, decreasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the month before.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.3 percent, dropping by eight-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.