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Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.0 percent

12.26.08

January 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.0 percent

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, December 5th- According to labor data provided by the Department of Labor and Industry, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.0 percent. 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 4.5 percent.

Of the fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area is tied with the Reading MSA for the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.8. There are 372,000, increasing by 32,000 during the past two months, Pennsylvania residents without jobs. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,446,000 with 6,075,000 employed. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.5 percent. There are 10,080,000 residents nationally unemployed.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.8 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest at 6.6 percent, and the Williamsport MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.4 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.5 percent, the Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.6 percent, with the Lancaster MSA having the third lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.2 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, in Pennsylvania at 420,000, increasing by 8,100 from a year ago. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,004,000 with 176,200 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force in the state at 1,226,600, with 67,400 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor force in Pennsylvania at 287,300, with 14,600 residents unemployed.

Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, increasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by one and seven-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has 2,300 civilians not working, increasing by 200 from the month before and increasing by 600 from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a labor force of 31,100 the smallest civilian labor force in the MSA.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 5.9 percent, unchanged from the previous month, and increasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has 9,000 civilians without jobs, increasing by 200 from the month before and increasing by 2,400 from a year ago. Northampton County has a labor force of 152,100.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 6.0 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Lehigh County has 10,600 civilians not working, the most within the MSA, increasing by 300 from the previous month and increasing by 2,800 during the past twelve months. Lehigh County has a labor force of 176,300, the largest in the MSA.

Nonfarm jobs have decreased by 800 during the past twelve months for a total of 345,700. There are 290,700 service-providing jobs in the MSA, increasing by 1,000 from a year ago. Education and Health services jobs increased the most in the MSA during the past twelve months, gaining 2,200 jobs. Trade, Transportation and Utilities jobs decreased the most the past year within the MSA, dropping 1,800.

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