Local unemployment rate drops and positives are seen
February 20. 2013 12:36AM
Even with the slight dip, this region remained the only of the state‚??s 14 major metro areas with a rate above 8.7 percent and marked the 31st consecutive month the Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming county metro region led the state in highest unemployment rate.
Though the region saw a decrease, it was not as significant as the declines realized by both Pennsylvania and the nation in November.
Pennsylvania‚??s rate decreased three-tenths of a point over the month to 7.8 percent, while the United States‚?? rate decreased two-tenths to 7.7 percent.
When comparing November 2011 to November 2012, the local rate bucked the state and national trend by actually increasing two-tenths of a percentage point while over the past year, the U.S. rate has fallen a full percentage point and Pennsylvania‚??s rate was unchanged.
While the pure numbers don‚??t appear to be encouraging, there were some highlights tucked inside the report released today by the state Department of Labor and Industry‚??s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis do show some positives including record number of workers in the service providing and local government educational services sectors.
The service-providing component of the local economy again set a new record high, at 225,800 jobs. This level was 1,900 higher than October, and was up 3,400 since November 2011. Job increases were largely driven by three supersectors: trade, transportation, & utilities, professional and business services and education and health services.
Local government educational services, while only up modestly over the month, reached a record high level of 13,100 jobs. Record-keeping for this series began in 1990 and for comparison‚??s sake, its level in November 1990 was 10,700.
Goods-producing industries were up over the year, having gained 1,700 jobs. Supersectors including mining, logging and construction, as well as manufacturing, also posted gains since November 2011.
To read the complete story, see Friday‚??s edition of The Times Leader.