Pennsylvania payrolls up, jobless rate down in February
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s payrolls recorded a big jump in February and the unemployment rate sank to a post-pandemic low, according to new state figures.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 5.1% from January’s rate, the state Department of Labor and Industry said.
The national rate was 3.8% in February. The gap between Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate and the national rate is among the widest it has been in decades.
In a survey of households, the labor force was relatively flat at just under 6.4 million. The number of employed grew by 12,000 to farther above 6 million.
The state’s labor force hit a record high of almost 6.6 million just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but remains below 2011′s levels.
In a separate survey of employers, non-farm payrolls in Pennsylvania grew in February by 34,000, driven primarily by hiring in manufacturing and the trade, transportation and utilities sectors.
At close 5.9 million, payrolls are at their highest point since hitting a record high of nearly 6.1 million just before the pandemic, according to state figures.
Pennsylvania has regained about 80% of the 1.1 million jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic, figures show.