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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA unemployment rate increases to 7.0 percent

01.16.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate increases to 7.0 percent

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

REGION, December 31st- According to labor data provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.0 percent, increasing by three-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 6.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,414,000 with 394,000 not working and 6,020,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. There are 10,331,000 civilians in the nation without employment.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, increased by 2,000 from the previous month to 281,900 and increased by 4,800 during the previous twelve months. There are 19,700 civilians not working within the MSA, increasing by 600 from the previous month, and increasing by 6,100 from twelve months before.

The MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,988,400 with 184,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,216,300 with 70,700 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 418,900 with 27,100 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 284,900 with 15,100 residents 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 7.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. The Johnstown MSA only has a civilian labor force of 68,000, with only the Altoona MSA and the Williamsport MSA with a smaller civilian labor force in Pennsylvania. The Williamsport MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.7 percent.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent. The State College MSA is second at 4.9 percent with the Lancaster MSA third at 5.0 percent.

Within the MSA, Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and one and nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,200, increasing by 1,700 during the past twelve months, with 7,100 without jobs, increasing by 300 from the previous month and increasing by 2,200 from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.2 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by two and two-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Luzerne County has a labor force of 160,200, decreasing by 2,900 during the past twelve months. The labor force of Luzerne County is the largest in the MSA and there are 11,600, increasing by 200 from the previous month, and increasing by 2,700 from one year ago, residents not working, the most in the MSA.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the month before and increasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,500, decreasing by 100 residents the past month and increasing by 100 during the past year. There are 1,000 Wyoming County residents not working, unchanged from the previous month and increasing by 200 from one year ago. Wyoming County has the smallest labor force in the MSA and the fewest residents not working.

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