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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.1 percent

09.23.08

September 2008 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.1 percent

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

REGION, August 28th- According to labor data provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 4.9 percent.

The MSA’s unemployment rate continues to remain higher than Pennsylvania and the nation. The unemployment rate in the state is 5.4 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,365,000 with 341,000 not working and 6,024,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. There are 8,784,000 civilians in the nation without employment.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, decreased by 200 from the previous month to 281,800 and increased by 4,200 during the previous twelve months. There are 17,100 civilians not working within the MSA, increasing by 400 from the previous month, and increasing by 2,500 from twelve months before.

The MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,978,400 with 154,900 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,209,100 with 61,400 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 415,600 with 22,800 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 286,200 with 13,000 without employment.

Of the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the second highest unemployment rate with only the much smaller Johnstown MSA the only region with a higher unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before. The Johnstown MSA only has a civilian labor force of 69,300, with only the Altoona MSA and the Williamsport MSA with a smaller civilian labor force. The Williamsport MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.8 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.0 percent. The Lancaster MSA is second at 4.1 percent with the State College MSA third at 4.2 percent.

Within the MSA, Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate at 5.9 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twleve months before. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,300 with 6,300 residents without employment, increasing by 200 from the previous month.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 6.3 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by one and three-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Luzerne County has a labor force of 160,000, the largest in the MSA, with 10,100 residents not working, the most in the MSA.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 6.0 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,500, the smallest in the MSA, with 900 without jobs, unchanged from the month before and increasing by 200 from twelve months ago.

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