State jobless rate stays at 5.6 percent

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Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for June remained at 5.6 percent, a six-year low.


The state Department of Labor & Industry released its monthly report Friday, showing the same jobless figure as May and the lowest for the commonwealth since September 2008.


The state rate fell or stayed the same for 10 consecutive months, and declined 1.9 percentage points since June 2013, when unemployment was 7.5 percent. Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted figure for June is five-tenths of a percentage point below the nation’s rate of 6.1 percent.


Labor & Industry’s June figures, however, indicate some unemployed residents stopped looking for work. The civilian labor force – people working or seeking work – was down 28,000 to 6.403 million because of declines in employment and unemployment. The number of employed dropped 22,000, a second straight monthly decline after eight consecutive gains. and unemployment fell by 6,000.


Nonfarm jobs rose by 1,800 to 5,789,700, the highest figure since September 2008. The private sector accounted for much of the increase, adding 5,600 jobs for a record 5,079,400.


Public sector jobs declined by 3,800. The largest gain there – 5,300 – was in trade, transportation and utilities, with about half of the increase from retail trade.


About 56,700 nonfarm jobs were added during 2014, the majority in private industries such as education and health services and construction.


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