Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Unemployment Down to 6.9% in December

HARRISBURG (JANUARY 31) – In December, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was down two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.9 percent. The local rate remained below Pennsylvania’s rate (7.6%), which fell three-tenths of a percentage point, and the United States’ rate (8.5%), which was down two-tenths of a percentage point. 

Over the year, the Pittsburgh MSA’s unemployment rate was down a full percentage point, while Pennsylvania’s rate and the national rate were both down nine-tenths of a percentage point.

Among the commonwealth’s 14 MSAs, the Pittsburgh MSA was tied for the 5th lowest unemployment rate in December. Within the Pittsburgh MSA, Butler County (6.4%) had the lowest rate while Fayette County (8.6%) had the highest rate. 

Among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, unemployment rates ranged from 5.1 percent in Centre County to 11.5 percent in Cameron County.

Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA rose 5,200 in December to 1,156,300, the highest level since April 2001. December marked the tenth increase in 2011. Pennsylvania’s nonfarm job count increased by 6,500 in December to 5,699,100, the highest level since January 2009. Jobs in the Pittsburgh MSA were up 26,600 (2.4%) from December 2010, while Pennsylvania’s jobs rose 59,200 (1.0%) from last year’s level.

Pittsburgh MSA service-providing jobs rose 4,200 in December, establishing a new record level of 1,016,900 jobs. Trade, transportation, & utilities (+5,200) accounted for a majority of the service-providing jobs increase as local retailers continued to add seasonal employment. 

Leisure & hospitality and education & health services supersectors incurred the largest over-the-month declines, down 900 jobs each. Both declines were expected as leisure & hospitality generally shows a sizable decline in December, and education & health services typically experiences a reduction in employment due to the ending of the fall school semester. 

Over the year, education & health services (+10,400) and trade, transportation, & utilities (+7,700) have provided the greatest job growth, while government (-1,000) and information (-200) have experienced the largest employment declines.

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Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

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