September Pennsylvania Jobs Report: Employment and Unemployment Moving In The Wrong Direction

Publication Date: 
October 25, 2011


Between May and September 2011, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania increased by nine-tenths of one percentage point, to 8.3%. Since April non-farm payrolls in the Commonwealth have fallen by 24,000 jobs.    The loss of more than 15,000 jobs in September alone provided further evidence that job growth is trending in the wrong direction (Figure 1). 

Job losses in the Public sector in Pennsylvania have been a persistent drag on employment growth in the last year.  Overall employment growth turned negative in the last five months as job losses in the public sector were accompanied by a troubling reemergence of job losses in the private service providing sector. Since the beginning of the recession Pennsylvania unemployment has remained below the national unemployment rate (9.1% in September), but as the job market in the Commonwealth has struggled the Pennsylvania advantage has begun to shrink.  National and state policy makers should take note that continued inaction on jobs threatens to deepen job loss at a time when private sector job growth appears to have stalled. 


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