Pennsylvania’s Historic Low Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 3.5%: Beating the National Average

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PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) recently released its preliminary employment situation report for August 2023.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was unchanged over the month at 3.5% in August, remaining the lowest rate on record (back to January 1976). The U.S. unemployment rate was up three-tenths of a percentage point from July to 3.8%. The Commonwealth’s unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage points below its August 2022 level of 4.3%, and the national rate was unchanged over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 1,000 over the month. Resident employment rose by 6,000 from July and unemployment fell by 4,000.

Pennsylvania’s total nonfarm jobs were up 15,800 over the month to a new record high of 6,164,500 in August. This was the eighth month in a row that jobs have set a new all-time high level. Jobs increased from July in eight of the 11 industry supersectors with the largest gain in education & health services (+7,400), which rose to a record high level. Construction and trade, transportation & utilities also rose to record high levels in August.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs were up 153,800 with gains in all 11 supersectors. Education & health services (+50,000) had the largest volume over-the-year gain among supersectors.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at

Note: The above data are seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid month-to-month comparison. August data are preliminary and subject to revision.

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