The unemployment picture across Pennsylvania and the region continues to show improvement despite slight downward fluctuations in unemployment rates in several counties from May to June. That is according to data released Tuesday, Aug. 2, by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties are included in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) — which includes the city and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA was down one-tenth of a percentage point from May to 4.3% in June, Labor & Industry said Tuesday.
Broken down to the county level, Chester County’s rate was 3.1% in June, up three-tenths of a percentage point from May and down 1.4 percentage points from June 2021.
Montgomery County’s rate for June was 3.4%, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point from May, and down 2 percentage points from June 2021.
Delaware County’s rate was 4.2% in June, up one-tenth of a percentage point from May, and down 2.4 percentage points from a year ago.
Philadelphia County’s June unemployment rate was 5.9% up one-tenth of a percentage point from May and down 4 percentage points from June 2021.
Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region increased 0.3%, or up 10,100 over the month to 2,962,100 in June. Since June 2021, jobs were up 3.9%, or 111,000 in the MSA.
Jobs rose in seven of the 10 supersectors in the MSA in June. The largest supersector movement was a seasonal increase of 12,400 in leisure & hospitality. Education & health services, down 6,200 and government, down 3,200 — each had a seasonal decrease due to the spring semester wrapping up at local public and private colleges and universities. Since June 2021, all 10 supersectors added jobs with the largest gain again in leisure & hospitality, up 32,700.
Berks, which is included in the Reading MSA, saw an unemployment rate for June of 4.5%, Labor & Industry said, down one-tenth of a percentage point from May. Since last June, the MSA’s rate declined 2.5 percentage points.
Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the Reading MSA increased 0.3% over the month, up 600 to 172,700 in June. Since June 2021, jobs rose by 1.8%, up 3,000 in the MSA.
Nine of 10 supersectors were either essentially unchanged or increased from May levels. The declining supersector, government, was driven by the end of the academic year at local schools and universities. Since last June, manufacturing jobs rose by 1,100, trade, transportation and utilities increased by 2,200, and leisure and hospitality grew by 700 jobs.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.5% in June, while the national rate was unchanged, remaining at 3.6%, where it has been since March. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate in June was 2.1 percentage points below its June 2021 level, while the national rate fell by 2.3 percentage points over the year. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released state figures July 22.
Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force — the estimated number of residents working or looking for work — increased 7,000 from May to June. The employment count rose 17,000 (to 6,159,000) while resident unemployment declined 10,000 to 288,000.
Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 21,200 from May to 5,950,900 in June.
Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier said the June jobs report marks the first time since September 2019 that Pennsylvania has been at 4.5% unemployment.
“The commonwealth and its residents are resilient, furthering job growth across various industries from trade, transportation and utilities to professional and business services. Some industries are even currently above their pre-pandemic level job totals, further contributing to Pennsylvania’s ongoing efforts to put the worst of the pandemic behind us,” Berrier said in a statement about Pennsylvania’s unemployment picture.
Around the state
Among the state’s 67 counties, Cumberland County had the lowest June unemployment rate at 3.0%. Chester County was tied with Adams County for second-lowest, with 3.1%. Montgomery County was tied with Lancaster for sixth-lowest with 3.4% and Delaware County was tied with Bradford, Juniata and Snyder counties for 19th lowest with 4.2%. Berks County was tied with Columbia and Lehigh counties for 39th lowest with 4.5%. Forest County had the highest rate at 6.8%.
The Gettysburg MSA was at 3.1%, the lowest among the state’s 18 metro areas. The Lehigh Valley was at 4.3% and Lancaster was at 3.4%. East Stroudsburg had the highest rate at 5.9%.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment data for July will be released by the Department of Labor & Industry on Aug. 19, while specific county and municipality data will be released on Aug. 30.