Pa.’s Unemployment Rate Down To 4.2 Percent in August

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HARRISBURG The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has released its preliminary employment situation report for August 2022.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down one-tenth​ of a percentage point over the month to 4.2 percent in August, the lowest rate since June 2000. The U.S. unemployment rate was up two-tenths of a ​percentage point over the month to 3.7 percent. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 1.9 percentage points below its August 2021 level and the national rate was down 1.5 percentage points over the year.

“With Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dipping to 4.2 percent – its lowest point since June 2000 – this moment is an opportunity to reflect on the value of labor and celebrate the fact that Pennsylvania workers have access to a competitive job market right now. We must also remember that records are meant to be broken and trends change over time,” L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said. “As we tackle economic challenges of today and tomorrow, we must remain committed to the protection of that most valuable economic asset – people.”

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 2,000 over the month. The employment count rose 4,000 (to 6,175,000) while resident unemployment declined 2,000 (to 273,000).

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 6,700 over the month to 5,984,400 in August. Jobs increased in 7 of the 11 industry supersectors. The two supersectors with the largest gains – trade, transportation & utilities and professional & business services – both rose to record high levels (records back to 1990). Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 201,600 with gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors. Three supersectors – trade, transportation & utilities; information; and professional & business services – were above their pre-pandemic job levels in August 2022.

From April 2020 through August 2022, Pennsylvania has recovered approximately 90% of jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic period.

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. August data are preliminary and subject to revision.

A breakdown of Pennsylvania’s employment statistics follows:

Current Labor Force Statistics 
Seasonally Adjusted 
(in thousands) 
    Change fromChange from 
 AugustJulyAugustJuly 2022August 2021 
 202220222021volumepercentvolumepercent 
PA        
Civilian Labor Force6,4486,4466,39220.0%560.9% 
Employment6,1756,1716,00140.1%1742.9% 
Unemployment273275391-2-0.7%-118-30.2% 
Rate4.24.36.1-0.1—--1.9—- 
         
U.S.        
Civilian Labor Force164,746163,960161,5057860.5%3,2412.0% 
Employment158,732158,290153,1674420.3%5,5653.6% 
Unemployment6,0145,6708,3393446.1%-2,325-27.9% 
Rate3.73.55.20.2—--1.5—-