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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate still highest in state at 7.7 percent

05.26.14

APRIL 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate still highest in state at 7.7 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, April 1st- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for more than five consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.9 percent. The main reason the MSA’s unemployment dropped was because of the decline of the workforce after long-term out of work civilians lost their unemployment benefits at the end of 2013 when Washington did not pass legislation to extend the benefit. After workers exhaust their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted as jobless, and taken from employment data.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 6.2 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,430,000 with 397,000 not working and 6,032,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and five-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, also because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, the nation unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.7 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, the Williamsport MSA has the third highest and the Philadelphia MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 percent while the Lancaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.9 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 256,800 civilians, dropping by 10,200 from twelve months before. There are 21,500 civilians without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,974,900 with 196,900 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,244,400 with 71,600 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 428,200 with 27,700 not working. The Harrisburg MSA has the fourth largest labor-force with 287,700 civilians with 9,100 jobless.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 63,800 civilians and 4,300 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,200 civilians with 3,700 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 66,600 and 4,800 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 7.2 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 106,500, with 7,700 jobless. Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate at 7.9 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. Luzerne County has a civilian labor force of 159,800, the largest within the MSA, with 12,600 civilians not employed.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County is 7.6 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. Wyoming County has a civilian labor-force of 14,200, with 1,100 jobless.