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Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.5 percent

05.26.14

MAY 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.5 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, April 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 6.5 percent, decreasing by three-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 8.6 percent.

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

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 7.7 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 7.2 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 6.6 percent. The Williamsport MSA rate of 6.7 percent is the fourth highest within Pennsylvania.

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

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 6.2 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and five-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 397,000 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 6,430,000 and 6,032,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 6.7 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one full percentage point from twelve months before, mainly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits due to Washington not passing legislation extending benefits for the long-termed jobless.

There are 10,459,000 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 428,200 civilians, decreasing by 10,200 during the past twelve months. There are 27,700 recorded civilians without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force at 2,974,900 with 196,900 not working; and the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,244,400 with 71,600 without jobs.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.0 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,800 with 2,200 without employment.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.2 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 184,100 with 11,300 without jobs.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 154,800 with 10,100 jobless.