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Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA’s unemployment rate highest since December 1992

03.28.09

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

MSA’s unemployment rate highest since December 1992

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, March 11th- 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 four-tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent, the highest rate for the region since December 1992. 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 4.9 percent.

Of the fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fifth highest unemployment rate.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.0 percent, increasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. There are 450,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, increasing by 16,000 from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,446,000 with 5,995,000 employed. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.6 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. There are 11,616,000 residents nationally unemployed.

The Williamsport MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.3 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA and the Johnstown MSA are tied for the second highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.0 percent, with the Reading MSA having the third highest unemployment rate at 7.6 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.3 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.1 percent, with the Harrisburg/Carlisie MSA and the Lancaster MSA tied with the third lowest unemployment rate at 6.2 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, in Pennsylvania at 424,100, increasing by 3,900 from twelve months ago. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 3,002,500 with 213,300 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force in the state at 1,228,800, with 80,200 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor force in Pennsylvania at 288,200, with 18,000 residents unemployed.

Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, increasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by three and three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has 2,900 civilians not working, increasing by 200 from the month before and increasing by 1,100 from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a labor force of 31,800, the smallest civilian labor force within the MSA.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.3 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by two and three-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Northampton County has 11,300 civilians not working, increasing by 700 from the month before and increasing by 2,700 from one year ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 154,000.

Lehigh County has a unemployment rate of 7.7 percent, increasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the month before and increasing by two and seven-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Lehigh County has 13,700 civilians without jobs, the most within the MSA, increasing by 1,300 from the month before and increasing by 4,800 from a year ago. Lehigh County has a labor force of 178,900, the largest in the MSA.

Manufacturing jobs decreased by 600, 1.6 percent, from the month before to 37,300 and decreased by 2,900 from twleve months ago. There are 334,000 nonfarm jobs in the MSA, decreasing by 9,100 from the previous month and decreasing by 4,500 from twelve months ago.

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