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Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.1 percent

07.28.14

AUGUST 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.1 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, July 13th- 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 6.1 percent, decreasing by one-tenth 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 7.9 percent.

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

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 7.2 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania more than four consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.8 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 6.2 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.1 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.6 percent, the Lebanon MSA is third at 4.7 percent, and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA is fourth at 5.0 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.6 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and nine-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 363,000 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 6,431,000 and 6,069,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 6.3 percent, unchanged from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one and two-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before, mainly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits due to the federal government not extending benefits for the long-termed jobless. After workers exhaust their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted within the civilian labor-force.

There are 9,799,000 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 428,800 civilians, decreasing by 5,700 during the past twelve months. There are 26,200 civilians without employment, dropping by 8,100 from one year ago.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force in Pennsylvania at 2,983,400 with 186,300 not working; and the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,246,600 with 68,300 without jobs.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 6.7 percent, unchanged from the month before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,600, the smallest within the MSA, with 2,100 without employment.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 184,000, the most within the MSA, with 11,200 without jobs.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 154,400 with 9,800 jobless.