Jobless rate up in Washington, down in Greene

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Washington County and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area experienced unemployment rate increases in January, while Greene County’s figure fell.


Statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor and Industry show that Washington County had a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.1 percent, a precipitous rise from 7.5 percent in December and 1.4 percent above the 6.7 jobless figure from January 2012. About 8,900 were idle out of a workforce of 109,800.


Greene’s unemployment rate decreased for the fourth time in five months, to 7.3 percent – down 0.1 of a point from December. It had ballooned from 6.7 in November to 7.4 percent in December.


That 7.3 percent figure, however, was a full point above Greene’s 6.3 unemployment the previous January. About 1,600 did not have jobs out a workforce of 22,400 for this January.


Unemployment in the Pittsburgh MSA was 7.5 percent, up from 7.3 in December, 7.2 in November and 6.9 percent from January 2012. About 95,200 were jobless out of a workforce of 1,268,900 in the MSA, which consists of Washington and six other counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette and Westmoreland.


Nonfarm jobs decreased by 3,800 in the MSA during January, the largest monthly decline since last April. But this followed four straight months of increases totaling 6,400.


Jobs were up 5,000 for the year.


Retail trade lost 6,900 jobs – not a seasonally adjusted figure – during January, many of them seasonal employees.


Allegheny and Butler counties (7.5 percent) tied for the lowest jobless rate in the MSA for January. Fayette (10.3 percent) had the highest.


Statewide, unemployment rose 0.3 of a point in January to 8.2 percent. The national number was 7.9 percent, up 0.1 from December.


Centre (5.9 percent) and Cameron (12.8 percent) had the highest and lowest rates among the state’s 67 counties in January.


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