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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.9 percent


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

MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 6.9 percent


REGION, August 2nd- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, but the rate dropped by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for 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 MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.9 percent. The last report 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 9.1 percent. The unemployment rate for the MSA has dropped for the twelfth consecutive month.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment is lower is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,700 less than it was twelve months ago. Nearly the same amount of civilians are working that were twelve months ago. One year ago there were 257,700 civilians employed within the MSA. Currently, there are 256,700 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,403,000 with 357,000 not working and 6,046,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and nine-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’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.1 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.1 percent and the Erie MSA is fourth at 5.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.1 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.5 percent while the Lebanon MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.6 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 275,700 civilians, dropping by 500 from the previous report. There are 19,000 civilians without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,980,000 with 180,700 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,243,400 with 66,300 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 427,900 with 25,300 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,900 civilians and 3,600 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,000 civilians with 3,300 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,600 and 4,300 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.3 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two and five-tenths percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 104,400, with 6,600 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate at 6.9 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Luzerne County has a civilian labor force of 156,500, the largest within the MSA, with 10,700 civilians not employed, the most within the Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The unemployment rate in Wyoming County is 6.6 percent, dropping by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Wyoming County has a civilian labor-force of 13,900, with 900 jobless.

Overall transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs along with leisure and hospitality employment, set new recond highs for the region.