State jobless rate rises to 5.7 percent

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Pensylvania’s jobless rate jumped to 5.7 percent in July, up from 5.6 percent the previous month.


The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released unemployment statistics Friday, and the July figure was the first gain statewide since June 2012. The commonwealth’s rate was 0.5 points below the United States figure of 6.2 percent, which likewise rose by one-tenth of a point in July.


Pennsylvania’s rate was down 1.8 points from July 2013, when unemployment was 7.5 percent. All of the numbers are seasonally adjusted.


The state’s civilian labor force – people working or seeking employment – plummeted by 32,000 last month, to 6,371,000. That was attributable to a 35,000 drop in resident employment.


Still, employment statewide rose by 40,000 over the past year, including a 21,000 increase in 2014. Unemployment was up by 400, though, the first rise since August 2012.


Nonfarm jobs dropped by 700 from June to 5,793,000, following three consecutive monthly gains totaling 35,800. That category was up 54,100 (0.9 percent) over the year. Private industry lost 3,400 jobs, but positions in the public sector increased for a sixth straight month.


Construction had the largest jobs gain in July (3,500); leisure and hospitality the biggest decline (4,400).


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