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LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.2 percent

03.02.15

MARCH 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate decreases to 5.2 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, February 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 5.2 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report which was released approximately four weeks before.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.1 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 5.9 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania more than four and a half consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 5.5 percent. The Erie MSA and the Reading MSA are tied for the fifth highest unemployment within Pennsylvania at 4.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.8 percent. The State College MSA has traditionally had the lowest unemployment within the state, however, the MSA also has one of the smallest workforces with 76,500 civilians.

The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, while the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the third lowest at 4.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was reported to be at 4.8 percent, dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, while decreasing by two full percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 309,000 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 6,367,000 and 6,058,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 5.6 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before, partly because of workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits. After workers exhaust their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted within the civilian labor-force.

There are 8,688,000 civilians nationwide without employment, but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work. However, the data indicates that the number of jobless civilians has dropped by more than 1,000,000 during the past six months.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 426,300 civilians, dropping by 400 from the previous report and decreasing by 1,000 during the past twelve months. There are 22,300 civilians without employment within the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA, dropping by 500 from the month before and decreasing by 8,200 from one year ago.

The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force in Pennsylvania at 2,974,900 with 163,400 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,241,700 with 57,500 without jobs. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania while the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA is fifth.

Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, unchanged from the previous report and dropping by two and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,400, the smallest within the MSA, with 1,800 without employment, decreasing by 700 from twelve months ago.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 5.2 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by two full percentage points from one year before. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 182,900, the most within the MSA, with 9,500 without jobs, decreasing by 3,700 during the past twelve months.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by one and six-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 153,100 with 8,300 jobless, rising by 400 from the previous report and decreasing by 2,400 during the past twelve months.