Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at Record Low, Reflecting Resilient Economy

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PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania’s economy continues to demonstrate resilience amid broader national trends, with the state’s unemployment rate holding steady at a record low of 3.4% in November 2023, according to a recent report from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I).

This figure, the lowest since records began in January 1976, underscores a robust job market in the Keystone State. In contrast, the national unemployment rate stood at 3.7% after a two-tenths of a percentage point decrease from October. The state’s unemployment rate was also significantly lower compared to the same period last year when it was pegged at 4.4%.

The Commonwealth’s labor force — defined as residents who are either employed or actively seeking work — expanded by 17,000 over the month. This increase was driven by both an uptick in resident employment, which saw an additional 15,000 people securing jobs, and a slight rise in unemployment figures, with an extra 2,000 individuals classified as job-seeking.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs reached a new high of 6,178,700, marking an increase of 10,900 over the month. This figure sets a new record for the state, a feat achieved 10 times so far in 2023 and 34 times over the past three years.

Drilling down into industry specifics, the education and health services sector emerged as the leading contributor to job growth. This sector added 9,800 jobs in November, pushing its total to a record high. The surge in this sector reflects the ongoing demand for professionals in these fields as the state continues to navigate the implications of the pandemic.

Over the year, Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs swelled by 125,800, with gains recorded in 10 of the 11 industry supersectors. Once again, the education and health services sector led the pack, contributing an impressive 56,900 jobs to the annual tally.

These figures, while preliminary and subject to revision, paint a picture of a state economy that continues to outpace national averages and rebound strongly from the challenges of the past year. As we move into 2024, the robust job market and record employment levels bode well for Pennsylvania’s economic outlook.

The L&I data are seasonally adjusted to allow for valid month-to-month comparisons, offering a clear snapshot of the state’s economic health.

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